Watching From Above: How A Spy Satellite Could Prevent Illegal Fishing

"Illegal fishing, which accounts for 30 percent of fish caught globally, has long been a thorn in the side of small nations who lack resources to monitor their waters. But a new technology puts that power in the hands of anyone with a computer."

"Environmentalists hope a new satellite service that scans the earth’s seas from space in search of illegal fishing activity can act as a watchdog service, holding those who overfish or intrude on protected areas accountable for the adverse effects of their actions.

The Google-powered technology, which has been named Global Fishing Watch, monitors more than 35,000 commercial fishing vessels using public broadcast data and is available to anyone with an internet connection, The Washington Post reported. Such information allows governments, journalists, and citizens to track the movement of boats, making it easier for nations with limited resources to apprehend the fishermen illegally depleting their oceans.

“We have to find a way to enforce [fishing laws],” Secretary of State John Kerry told The Washington Post. “We have to find a way to monitor it. And that’s very difficult in vast oceans with resources that are [limited]. We’re trying to create accountability where there is very little.”"

Amanda Hoover reports for the Christian Science Monitor September 15, 2016.


"How Google Is Helping To Crack Down On Illegal Fishing — From Space" (Washington Post)

"Activists Open an Online Window onto the Global Fishing Fleet" (Scientific American)

"Introducing Global Fishing Watch" (Global Fishing Watch)

Source: Christian Science Monitor, 09/16/2016