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November 14, 2014

Google goes fishing

Global Fishing Watch monitors fishing activates and could improve sustainable management of global fisheries.

By CBR Staff Writer

Google, in partnership with digital mapping company SkyTruth and ocean conservation organisation Oceana, has developed the Global Fishing Watch. The prototype system is capable of tracking illegal fishing across the globe.

Using satellite data to visualise the global fishing fleet, the system is currently displaying the activity of 25,000 fishing ships from 2012 to 2013.

The tool uses a global feed of vessel locations, taken from Automatic Identification System (AIS) tracking data collected by satellites. This shows movement of vessels indicating "fishing" or "non-fishing" activity.

It is expected to help seafood suppliers keep track of the boats they buy fish from, while the media is expected to use it as a tool to monitor fishing activates and help improve the sustainable management of global fisheries.

The data gathered by the website can also be used by researchers to track fishing activities.

The website will be accessible to anyone with an internet connection to keep track of the commercial fishing happening around the world.

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