Explainers

Example of AIS Data for One Vessel

This post originally appeared on our Data Blog  The sample vessel track below shows position broadcasts of the Jin Sheng No.2, a Chinese fishing vessel with mmsi number 413270430. Over three weeks in March of 2015, this vessel steamed from the central Pacific to the coast of Japan, Korea, and China. While moving, a vessel [...]

By | 2017-12-27T22:39:34+00:00 August 9th, 2017|Map|

Embedding a Workspace into Your Own Website

A new feature in Global Fishing Watch is the ability to embed a workspace into your own website like this: Once your workspace is in your web page like this one above, here are the things you can do: Play the timeline: Click on the arrow next to the timeline Move the map view: Click [...]

By | 2018-01-05T10:28:51+00:00 June 26th, 2017|Map|

AIS for Safety and Tracking: A Brief History

The maritime Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a radio communications system by which vessels continuously broadcast their identity and position over public airwaves using unencrypted VHS radio signals. When it was developed almost 20 years ago, its primary purpose was to increase safety at sea: ships needed a better way to “see” each other and [...]

By | 2018-01-05T11:39:06+00:00 March 31st, 2017|Data|

86,490 Points on a Map: All Potential Transshipments

5 years, over 86,000 potential transshipments In early 2017, we released an original report based on analysis of our data that revealed remarkable new insights about what goes on between fishing vessels at sea. The machine learning platform we developed found that over the past five years, there were more than 86,000 potential [...]

By | 2017-12-27T22:41:34+00:00 March 2nd, 2017|Data|

Flag of Convenience or Cloak of Malfeasance?

In the U.S., you can’t slap a license plate on your car from a state you don’t live in. Not so for ships on the ocean. Of course, ships don’t have license plates; they have flags, but it’s not uncommon for a fishing vessel to fly a flag from a country that has no actual [...]

By | 2017-12-27T22:44:19+00:00 February 22nd, 2017|Fisheries|

What’s Happening inside Motu Maha Marine Reserve?

There were a whole lot of fishing vessels inside the Motu Maha no-take marine reserve last year, and every one of them had a reason to be there. As part of our series on deciphering suspicious behavior, we asked Dave Stevens, Senior Analyst for the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries, to help us understand [...]

By | 2017-12-27T22:47:28+00:00 January 6th, 2017|Map|

Making the Cut–Creating Our List of Fishing Vessels

This post has been adapted from “Updated Vessel Lists 0.2”  which appeared on our Data Blog for researchers and software engineers by David Kroodsma. Automating the process of identifying all industrial-scale fishing activity in near-real time on a global scale through AIS data is something that’s never been done. Inventing something new often means first [...]

By | 2017-12-27T22:49:01+00:00 December 30th, 2016|Data|

Seafood Giants Commit to Stamping Out IUU Seafood

If it’s true that change starts at the top, then efforts to clean up the global fishing industry may be in for a boost. In a joint statement issued last week, CEOs from the world’s eight largest seafood companies committed to leading the fight against IUU fishing and slavery on the oceans while contributing to sustainability [...]

By | 2017-12-27T22:52:27+00:00 December 20th, 2016|Markets|

Fishing in a Marine Park? Look Again.

After our recent post Deciphering Suspicious Behavior: It’s not always what it seems, we thought it would be insightful to post a few examples of vessel behavior that looked suspect, but turned out to be easily explained on closer inspection. Often, a look at the other vessels in the area can help explain what’s going [...]

By | 2018-01-09T08:18:29+00:00 December 18th, 2016|Map|

Deciphering Suspicious Behavior: Not Always What It Seems

The first step in catching illegal and unreported fishing activity can feel a little like casting a net over a wide swath of the ocean. There’s going to be a lot of bycatch, because much of what fits in your net isn’t really what you’re after. It takes some background knowledge and often a little [...]

By | 2018-01-05T12:12:57+00:00 December 2nd, 2016|Map|

Identifying Transshipment From the Data

When two ships meet to transfer goods, it is called transshipment. In the fisheries industry, it is sometimes legal in ports, but usually illegal out at sea where the practice can’t be monitored. [You can read more about it here]. Transshipment can facilitate the mixing of illegal or unreported catch with legal catch, making it [...]

By | 2018-01-05T12:15:48+00:00 November 18th, 2016|Data|

Taming the Ocean’s Wild West

The high seas are often called the ocean’s Wild West—open territory far from any shoreline or national jurisdiction where the global fishing fleet takes a free-for-all approach to harvesting the world’s shared resources. There’s some truth to that, but there are, in fact, laws intended to manage fishing on the high seas. They’re hard to [...]

By | 2017-12-21T18:38:29+00:00 November 11th, 2016|Fisheries|

What Does an AIS Message Look Like Anyway?

Automatic Identification System (AIS) messages are transmitted over radio waves. The system was designed, in part, so that vessels could “see” the positions of nearby ships on a monitor and avoid collisions. These radio signals are received by satellites and used for many monitoring purposes. Each boat can broadcast a distinct message as often as every two [...]

By | 2018-01-05T12:18:05+00:00 November 8th, 2016|Data|
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