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What is AIS?

What is AIS?

AIS (Automatic Identification System) is a system that transmits a ship’s position so that other ships are aware of its position, to avoid collision. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) mandates the use of AIS in vessels larger than 300 gross tonnes that travel internationally. Many national governments have mandated vessels that fall outside the IMO regulation to use AIS. Each year, more than 300,000 unique AIS devices broadcast the location of a vessel along with other information, including identity, course and speed. Ground stations and satellites pick up this information, meaning a ship’s movements can be followed even in the most remote parts of the ocean. Although the use of AIS is not globally mandated for fishing vessels, it’s estimated that vessels with AIS account for over half the fishing effort more than 100 nautical miles from shore and as much as 80% of the fishing in the high seas.

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