Data and technology

Original Map Produced In February 2017

86,490 Points on a Map: All 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 cases in which fishing vessels transferred their catch …

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Transshipment: A Global Footprint Never Seen Before

It’s been just over five months since Global Fishing Watch launched publicly, and this week, we hope to make another splash by not just mapping global fishing activity, but by providing an unprecedented view of very specific activity by a very specific class of vessels around the world. Today, at the Economist World Ocean Summit …

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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 …

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What does AIS look like

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 …

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Yushin Maru track in Hawaiian EEZ

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,” …

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Fishing trawlers at Brixham

What Ports Can Tell Us

Ports provide an important source of information to help us combat Illegal fishing and understand the science and economics of global fisheries. “They serve as the interface between land and sea for fishing vessels,” says Wessley Merten, our data and fisheries analyst at Oceana. “Wherever there’s a port, there’s an interaction. Whether it be offloading …

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