multiple vessels

How to View Multiple Tracks at Once

You can view multiple tracks at once by pinning them to your workspace. Assign different colors to each track to distinguish them from each other.

Here’s how: (Read instructions below or watch a short video here.)

Pin a vessel track to your workspace: Read more

Purse sein, Pago Pago Bay American Samoa. Copyright  C. Wolcott Henry/Marine Photobank

Deciphering Suspicious Behavior: Not Always What It Seems

The first step in catching illegal and unreported fishing activity can feel a little like casting a net over a wide swath of the ocean. There’s going to be a lot of bycatch, because much of what fits in your net isn’t really what you’re after. It takes some background knowledge and often a little investigative work to find the keepers. Sometimes you come up empty handed.

Here are some reasons suspicious-looking behavior by commercial fishing vessels might actually represent perfectly legal activity. Read more

Fishing boat dressed for Christmas in the Isle of Man. Theburnhams/Wikicommons

Fishing Fleet Goes Home for the Holidays

‘Tis the season, and even fishers want to be home for the holidays. The flag state filter in Global Fishing Watch allows us to select vessels flagged to a specific country or countries. In the spirit of the season, we decided to use it to see if  a cultural tradition that has nothing to do with fishing can be revealed through fishing vessel behavior. Watch the video to see what we mean, then check it out for yourself by following the links below to the same work space on the Global Fishing Watch map.

Map of the Azores with Spanish fleet activity seen through AIS data.

The same map with individual vessel tracks highlighted 

 

What does AIS look like

What Does an AIS Message Look Like Anyway?

Automatic Identification System (AIS) messages are transmitted over radio waves. The system was designed, in part, so that vessels could “see” the positions of nearby ships on a monitor and avoid collisions. These radio signals are received by satellites and used for many monitoring purposes. Each boat can broadcast a distinct message as often as every two seconds. We receive more than 20 million AIS messages a day.  When we get them, they’re just strings of code. The code below is one AIS message from one boat. Read more

The Map

Search for a Vessel on the Global Fishing Watch Map

Know the name or identity of a specific vessel you would like to find on the map? Here’s a step-by-step guide that shows you how to find it. Read more