Track Commercial Fishing Activity in Almost Real-Time

16 September 2016, at 1:00am

GLOBAL - A new online technology platform that allows anyone in the world free access to monitor and track the activities of the worlds largest commercial fishing vessels in near real-time has been launched following a collaboration of Oceana, SkyTruth and Google.

Global Fishing Watch delivers a powerful and unprecedented tool that can help to rebuild fish stocks and protect oceans, which are threatened by overfishing, illegal fishing and habitat destruction.

The free and interactive online tool shows the apparent fishing activity of 35,000 (and counting) commercial fishing vessels operating throughout the world. The platform is regularly updated to show vessel tracks and fishing activity from January 1, 2012 through three days prior to present time.

By sharing this critical information publicly for the first time, Global Fishing Watch will have immeasurable and wide-ranging positive impacts on ocean health. From allowing fishery managers to better understand and manage fishing activity in their waters to aiding enforcement agencies in deterring illegal fishing, Global Fishing Watch is a powerful tool to help restore oceans.

“Global Fishing Watch will revolutionise the way the world views commercial fishing,” said Jacqueline Savitz, Vice President for the United States and Global Fishing Watch at Oceana.

Global Fishing Watch uses public broadcast data from the Automatic Identification System (AIS), collected by satellite and terrestrial receivers, to show the movement of vessels over time. Every day, more than 20 million data points are added to AIS. Global Fishing Watch uses this information to track vessel movement and classify it as “fishing” or “non-fishing” activity.

"Working with Oceana and Google has enabled us to take a good idea and build it into something that will improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the planet,” said John Amos, President and Founder of SkyTruth.

“Global Fishing Watch will catalyse the science, policy-making and public pressure necessary to make our oceans sustainable."