Research and analysis

aerial vessel

Illuminating global fishing activity with satellite AIS

This article was produced and first published by our data partner, Spire Global. Transparency in a whole new light In February this year, a Vietnamese ship entered Indonesian waters, likely fished illegally, and then returned to port without consequence. By March, it was back at sea. There were no signs to indicate that the vessel …

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makerel

A Conversation with NOAA Researchers, Heather Welch and Dr. Elliott Hazen

A key goal of Global Fishing Watch is to partner with leading researchers who can help us better understand, apply, and expand the usefulness of our data for fisheries transparency. To date, we have partnered with over 12 academic institutions, as well as several government fisheries research agencies, such as Japan’s Fisheries Research Agency. Heather …

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Oil platforms or wind farms Radar Detections

Towards a Radar-Illuminated Ocean

At Global Fishing Watch, we use cutting-edge technology to visualize, track and share data about global fishing activity in near real-time and for free. Our primary dataset comes from data about a vessel’s identity, type, location, speed, direction and more that is broadcast using the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and collected via satellites and terrestrial …

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Tuna Marine Protection

The Rewards of Large-Scale Marine Protection

To conserve or not to conserve Protecting large portions of our oceans from extractive activities can provide enormous benefits to society: food provisioning, carbon storage and sequestration, tourism, storm attenuation and coastline stabilization are only a few of them. So, why do Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) cover only 4.8% of the ocean today? When it …

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Challenges an opportunities - Global Atlas of AIS - based fishing activity

The Global Atlas of AIS-based Fishing Activity

In 2018, Global Fishing Watch (GFW) published the first ever global maps of fishing activity using AIS data. These fishing maps drew on billions of GPS positions broadcast by over 60,000 fishing vessels, and they revealed fishing operations in all oceans in incredible detail. These new methods, though, had yet to be vetted by the …

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Commonwealth Club The Global Fishing Watch Research Program

Breakthroughs in Science: The Global Fishing Watch Research Program

Why is Global Fishing Watch (GFW), a non-profit organization, investing so much effort into collaborating with scientists to publish research papers? And why has the program been so successful in doing so? In this blog, GFW Research and Innovation Director, David Kroodsma outlines why we are pursuing this work, why he believes it has been …

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Rhythms of the wild in global fisheries data

Eric Galbraith is an ICREA research professor based at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Jerome Guiet is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles. Read their new study. Most of the activity that Global Fishing Watch monitors is carried out by industrial fisheries, working for profit. These businesses are run and staffed …

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Tuna

Predicting overlap of tunas, sharks, and ships at sea

Tim White is a PhD candidate at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station. His recent publication in Science Advances, Predicted hotspots of overlap between highly migratory fishes and industrial fishing fleets in the Northeast Pacific, focuses on how vessel tracking and fish habitat models can help inform management of sharks and tunas. How do you sustainably …

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albatross

The Tale of the Albatross and the Algorithm

The first-ever satellite mapping of fishing vessel behaviours has identified that very few vessels are using one of the key techniques to avoid accidentally killing albatrosses. Researchers hope a new analytics tool demonstrates that satellite data can help monitor efforts to reduce seabird mortality in fishing operations, and drive more transparency in general in the global fishing industry. …

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Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

More fishing inside, more sharks outside marine protected areas

Manuel Dureuil is a PhD student researching sharks and Kristina Boerder a postdoctoral fellow working on marine protected areas at Dalhousie University, Canada. In a recent publication in SCIENCE, Elevated trawling inside protected areas undermines conservation outcomes in a global fishing hotspot, Manuel, Kristina and a team of researchers from Dalhousie University, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre …

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Ton Bali

Global Fishing Watch 2018 – the year in transparency

After just over a year at the helm, Global Fishing Watch CEO, Tony Long, reflects on how a freely accessible and near real-time digital map of the global ocean is exposing illegal fishing and changing the rules of the game, and calls on all governments to contribute data and join the movement for universal transparency. …

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