Entries by Kimbra Cutlip

We’ve Launched!

Last Thursday, we kicked off the public launch of Global Fishing Watch with an announcement by actor and ocean advocate Leonardo DiCaprio at the Our Ocean Conference in Washington, DC. After the announcement, organizer and host Secretary of State John Kerry stopped by our demonstration in the conference hall to speak with the team and […]

When Vessels Report False Locations

Occasionally, the AIS messages transmitted from a ship provide a location that makes no sense, say, in the middle of the Antarctic or over a mountain range. In such cases, either the AIS transponder has malfunctioned, the data got scrambled in transmission, or the system has been tampered with in a deliberate attempt to disguise […]

Rendezvous at Sea: What is Transshipping?

In the commercial fishing world, transshipment is the transfer of catch from one vessel to another. During a transshipment, a fishing vessel meets up with a large refrigerated cargo-type ship, known as a “reefer.” They tie up alongside one another and drift while the fishing vessel offloads tons of catch before heading back out to […]

Interview with Chris Costello: Environmental Economist

A 2016 recipient of the prestigious Peter Benchley Ocean Award, Dr. Christopher Costello is a professor of Environmental and Resource Economics at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, UC Santa Barbara. His work focuses on natural resource management, and in particular, the issues surrounding resources that cannot be claimed by an individual or […]

Global Fishing Watch Well Received in Jakarta

Last week our Chief Technology Officer Paul Woods and Google’s lead on the project, Brian Sullivan traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia, to participate in the South-East Asia and Pacific Regional Fisheries Summit. As part of the Economist Events’ World Ocean Initiative, the meetings brought together government, industry, the financial sector and scientists for two days of discussions […]

Diversity Expedition Update

Last week we reported on an expedition to survey diversity in the deep sea off the coast of Southern California. The goal of the expedition was to document on video the diversity of deep sea diversity in the area and demonstrate the need to close the waters of the Southern California Bight to bottom trawl fishing which destroys […]

AIS and the Challenges of Tracking Vessels at Sea

At Global Fishing Watch, we hear it all the time: “Tracking commercial fishing vessels from satellites is such a great idea, and it seems so easy!” In fact, we’ve received a few questions from our readers asking us why this isn’t just a simple hack of publicly available data.

Rush Hour in the Sanctuary

Way out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, on a sanctuary off limits to fishing activity, scientists are learning the habits of marine life uninterrupted by humans. In a recent study, they’ve found that sharks commute in and out of the lagoons of Palmyra on a daily basis. Rush hour according to the researchers […]

Interview with Marine Ecologist Dr. Doug McCauley

Last year, Dr. Doug McCauley told the New York Times that humanity may be on the verge of creating a mass extinction in the seas unless we can rapidly change our course. McCauley and his colleagues had just published a paper in Science magazine on the health of the oceans that drew a lot of […]