SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Today, SkyTruth, Oceana and Google announced Global Fishing Watch, a big data technology platform that leverages satellite data to create the first global view of commercial fishing. On November 14, 2014, a prototype was unveiled at the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, with a public release version in development. Global Fishing Watch will ultimately give citizens a simple, online platform to visualize, track and share information about fishing activity worldwide.
The platform works by analyzing data points from the Automatic Identification System (AIS) network. AIS, basically a GPS broadcast of a ship’s location, was primarily designed as a safety mechanism to avoid collisions at sea, but information about the vessel’s behavior can be derived by analyzing the identity, speed and direction of broadcasting vessels. Global Fishing Watch removes all the cargo ships and other non-fishing vessel activity, providing an unprecedented view of human interaction with the ocean.
“So much of what happens out on the high seas is invisible, and that has been a huge barrier to understanding and showing the world what’s at stake for the ocean,” said John Amos, President and Founder of SkyTruth. “But now, satellite data is allowing us to make human interaction with the ocean more transparent than ever before. Fishermen can show how they are doing their part to fish sustainably, we can motivate citizens to watch the places they care about, and we can all work together to restore a thriving ocean.”
To learn more, read about our partners, and explore Oceana’s initial report, please visit: