explainer

VMS Layer Now Available in Fishing Activity Map

On World Ocean Day in June 2017, we partnered with Minister Susi Pudjiastuti and the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries to publicly release Indonesian Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data. This was the first ever public release of VMS data. Previously accessible only in a dedicated public workspace on our site, this data is [...]

By | 2017-12-29T09:27:09+00:00 December 4th, 2017|VMS transparency|

Understanding the Impacts of the Chinese Fishery Moratorium

Wei Zhou, ocean campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia’s Beijing office, used Global Fishing Watch to understand the impact of recent changes to fisheries policy in China on the extent of fishing in the Chinese EEZ.  On September 16, 2017 at noon, over 10,000 fishing vessels based in Zhejiang and Fujian Provinces in China headed out to start [...]

By | 2018-06-29T06:18:45+00:00 November 20th, 2017|Research and analysis|

Adding Nano-Satellite Data Doubles Our Resolution

Today, we are pleased to announce that, through a partnership with Spire Global, Inc, we have doubled the amount of data we use to identify and track nearly 60,000 commercial fishing vessels on the world’s oceans. Publicly broadcast Automatic Identification System (AIS) messages received by satellites and ground-based receivers comprise the largest source of data in the [...]

By | 2018-06-29T06:15:37+00:00 November 1st, 2017|Data and technology|

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 and technology|

Mystery Moves: What’s Up in the Pacific?

Over the past couple of months, SkyTruth analyst Bjorn Bergman has been watching some interesting activity by the Chinese fishing fleet in the Pacific. A large Chinese flagged squid-fishing fleet had been fishing at the boundary of Peru’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) throughout the summer and fall of 2016. Then, near the middle of December, [...]

By | 2018-06-29T06:42:36+00:00 February 9th, 2017|Data and technology|

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|

A New Angle on Baltic Sea Cod = Upheaval for the Fishery

Last month, the EU Fisheries Council of Ministers slashed next year’s catch quota for the Western Baltic Sea cod by 56 percent. It was a bold move that has fishermen concerned for their livelihoods and scientists concerned for the sustainability of the stock. Though unprecedented, […]

By | 2018-01-05T12:17:28+00:00 November 14th, 2016|News & Views|

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 and technology|

Where are the Whalers?

Last week, a visitor to our site asked if Global Fishing Watch can be used to track whaling ships. The short answer is yes, sometimes. At the moment, our machine learning algorithms are being designed to classify three major types of fishing activity—trawling, longlining and purse seining—but some whaling vessels report themselves as “fishing vessels,” [...]

By | 2018-01-05T12:22:22+00:00 October 12th, 2016|Data and technology|

When Vessels Report False Locations

Occasionally, the AIS messages transmitted from a ship provide a location that makes no sense, say, in the middle of the Antarctic or over a mountain range. In such cases, either the AIS transponder has malfunctioned, the data got scrambled in transmission, or the system has been tampered with in a deliberate attempt to disguise [...]

By | 2018-01-05T15:55:12+00:00 August 30th, 2016|Data and technology|
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