Year One Opened a New Era of Transparency in Commercial Fishing – What’s Next?

When Global Fishing Watch launched last year, we opened a new era of transparency in commercial fishing. For the first time, an interactive platform for tracking the location and behavior of the largest commercial fishing vessels – and the data that drives it – was made available for free to organizations and individuals to accelerate research and innovation that supports sustainable ocean fisheries. Ocean sustainability is vital if we hope to preserve the world’s supply of wild-caught fish for our growing global population. Read more

Welcome to Our New CEO, Tony Long

Today, Global Fishing Watch has announced the appointment of Tony Long as Chief Executive Officer. Tony becomes the first permanent CEO of Global Fishing Watch. He comes to us from The Pew Charitable Trusts where he directed the End Illegal Fishing Project. Prior to that, he served 27 years in the British Royal Navy where his affinity with the ocean was born.

“We are delighted to welcome Tony Long to the team. His unique mix of skills, experience, and character make him the ideal fit for Global Fishing Watch,” said Brian Sullivan, Chairperson of the Global Fishing Watch Board of Directors. “Tony has a thorough understanding of vessel tracking and related technologies, maritime laws, IUU fishing issues and global geopolitics along with strong leadership experience in nonprofit sector, and I am confident that he is the right person to lead Global Fishing Watch as we continue to scale our impacts and reach since launching in 2016.” Read more

Our Data Suggests Transhippment Involved in Refrigerated Cargo Vessel Just Sentenced to $5.9 Million and Jail Time for Carrying Illegal Sharks

The Ecuadoran government demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting its waters from illegal activity today when it handed down a $5.9 million fine to a Chinese refrigerated cargo vessel owner and a four year prison sentence to its captain for the illegal transport of sharks and shark fins in the protected waters of the Galapagos.

The vessel, Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999 was caught crossing the protected waters of the Galapagos Islands with its illicit cargo on August 13. Authorities and conservation organizations were eager to know where the vessel came from and how they acquired the sharks. Both are questions Global Fishing Watch has been digging into. Read more

Global Fishing Watch Makes a Splash at the UN Ocean Conference

A traditional Fijian welcoming ceremony complete with meke dancing. Giant sculptures of sea creatures made of ocean trash along the East River. Announcements of MPA designations and other commitments to marine conservation by leaders from all over the world. As our Global Fishing Watch team arrived at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York for the first Ocean Conference, we were greeted by these scenes and more. Read more

Global Fishing Watch uses publicly broadcast AIS signals to track fishing vessels. On the Global Fishing Watch heat map, every lighted point represents a fishing vessel. The blue points are vessels detected through AIS, the green points represent nearly 5,000 additional vessels revealed through Indonesia’s Vessel Monitoring System data.

Indonesia Makes its Fishing Fleet Visible to the World through Global Fishing Watch

[MULTI-MEDIA AVAILABLE HERE]

View this on the Global Fishing Watch Map here: http://globalfishingwatch.org/indonesia-vms

This week, at the United Nation’s Ocean Conference, the Republic of Indonesia becomes the first nation ever to publish Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data revealing the location and activity of its commercial fishing fleet. The new data being made public on the Global Fishing Watch public mapping platform reveals commercial fishing in Indonesian waters and areas of the Indian Ocean where it had previously been invisible to the public and other nations. Read more

New Release Beta 2.0 – You Asked, We Delivered

Today, we are releasing a brand new version of the Global Fishing Watch interactive map that is easier to use and adds nearly 25,000 new vessels. It also increases your ability to customize the map view and share your work. Beta Release 2.0. comes in response to some great feedback we’ve been getting from our registered users since we launched in September.

You can now: Read more

The new release of Global Fishing Watch, Beta 2.0, includes a new look with enhanced custom features and 60,000 fishing vessels.

Beta Release 2.0: Nearly Doubling our Database of Commercial Fishing Vessels

Since our launch in September, we have added 25,000 more fishing vessels to our database. Our new Beta release 2.0 now includes 60,000 fishing vessels.

Although the number of fishing boats using AIS and the number of satellites receiving their signals have been steadily rising around the world, the vast majority of our gains have come from refinements to our analytical methods. The fishing detection algorithm has improved, and we’ve been able to identify more fishing vessels from the data we have. Read more

Fisheries Stakeholders Offer Insights to New Uses and Expanded Datasets

During the first two weeks of May, a team of Global Fishing Watch developers, designers and project managers gathered in Europe with members of our user community to teach, learn and brainstorm improvements and new uses for our online map and data. Read more

Can Tourism Trump Tuna in Mexico?

This Global FIshing Watch map shows fishing activity (lighted dots) within and around the proposed Revillagigedo Marine Protected area [outlined in yellow] off the west coast of Mexico.

Last year, a study comparing the economic value of tourism and commercial fishing around a cluster of remote Eastern Pacific Islands put some hard numbers behind a proposal to create the one of the world’s largest Marine Protected Areas (MPA). Those numbers shifted the balance in a previously one-sided dialogue with the government of Mexico which owns the islands. Read more

Our Recent Webinar Success Bodes Well for More to Come

Last Monday, we held a webinar in which 48 registered Global Fishing Watch users had an opportunity to hear from, and ask questions of, two of the authors of our recent report “The Global Footprint of Transshipment.” Read more

86,490 Points on a Map: All Potential Transshipments

5 years of transshipments 86 billion

In early 2017, we released an original report based on analysis of our data that revealed remarkable new insights about what goes on between fishing vessels at sea. The artificial intelligence platform we developed found that over the past five years, there were more than 86,000 potential cases in which fishing vessels transferred their catch to refrigerated cargo ships at sea. The practice is called transshipment, and in many cases it is illegal because it enables the mixing of legal and illegal catch and facilitates slave labor on fishing vessels that don’t need to return to port to drop off their catch. Read more

Transshipment: A Global Footprint Never Seen Before

It’s been just over five months since Global Fishing Watch launched publicly, and this week, we hope to make another splash by not just mapping global fishing activity, but by providing an unprecedented view of very specific activity by a very specific class of vessels around the world.

Today, at the Economist World Ocean Summit in Indonesia, Brian Sullivan, Google’s lead for Global Fishing Watch, is presenting the results of our new analysis that produced the first-ever global footprint of transshipment. We are releasing our data and analysis of these transshipments today in a free report titled The Global View of Transshipment: Preliminary Findings. Read more

Flag of Convenience or Cloak of Malfeasance?

In the U.S., you can’t slap a license plate on your car from a state you don’t live in. Not so for ships on the ocean. Of course, ships don’t have license plates; they have flags, but it’s not uncommon for a fishing vessel to fly a flag from a country that has no actual ties to the boat, the owner, or the captain behind the wheel.

Many countries have what’s called an open registry, which means they allow foreign vessels to register and fly their flags, so long as the vessel owner pays the fee and meets the registration requirements. Read more

Mystery Moves: What’s Up in the Pacific?

Over the past couple of months, SkyTruth analyst Bjorn Bergman has been watching some interesting activity by the Chinese fishing fleet in the Pacific. A large Chinese flagged squid-fishing fleet had been fishing at the boundary of Peru’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) throughout the summer and fall of 2016. Then, near the middle of December, many of them suddenly began migrating some 3,000 miles to the northwest. Read more

A New View of Marine Protected Areas

In 2016, 33 countries agreed to establish a global network of scientifically supported Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that will increase the amount of ocean area protected from the current 2 percent to 10 percent by the year 2020. MPAs either restrict human activity such as fishing, or they prohibit it all together. But the question is: do they work? Read more