September 19 2016
Oceana, SkyTruth and Google have just launched, in conjunction with the Our Ocean Conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry, the public Beta of Global Fishing Watch, a new online technology platform that allows anyone in the world free access to monitor and track the activities of the world’s largest commercial fishing vessels in near real-time.
By providing this service, Global Fishing Watch aims to help to rebuild fish stocks and protect oceans, which are threatened by global overfishing, illegal fishing and habitat destruction.
The product of a partnership between Oceana, SkyTruth and Google, Global Fishing Watch is an intuitive and free interactive online tool that 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.
“Global Fishing Watch will revolutionize the way the world views commercial fishing,” said Jacqueline Savitz, Vice President for the United States and Global Fishing Watch at Oceana. “Now, in the hands of everyone, this free tool can be used by governments, journalists, citizens, researchers and the seafood industry. It will allow governments to track suspicious vessels, enforce rules and reduce seafood fraud. Journalists and everyday citizens will be able to identify behavior that may be related to illegal fishing or overfishing. Global Fishing Watch is a powerful tool in the fight against illegal fishing and has tremendous potential to preserve and protect our world’s delicate marine ecosystem for generations to come.”
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 catalyze the science, policy-making and public pressure necessary to make our oceans sustainable."
Funding partners for Global Fishing Watch include the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Marisla Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Wyss Foundation, The Waterloo Foundation and Adessium Foundation.