It’s been three weeks since we launched Global Fishing Watch, and the new technology platform has created a buzz around the globe from Europe to Southeast Asia, China, Brazil, Costa Rica, Australia and even landlocked parts of the world such as Pakistan and Iran. Users of the map hail from all over as well, and while there’s no doubt what we’re doing is groundbreaking, it’s encouraging to see how quickly the tool is becoming Read more
Imagine a vessel captain pulling into port with a cargo hold full of fish. The captain reports the vessel’s identity to the authorities, and his or her entire fishing voyage can be instantly viewed on a screen. The location in which the fish was caught can be verified right there at the dock. The fish can then be labeled and tracked throughout the supply chain all the way to the consumer. That level of transparency was unimaginable just a few years ago. Read more
Today, Global Fishing Watch is focused on tracking commercial-scale fishing fleets, because they are the ones required to carry Automatic Identification Systems that broadcast their information to satellites. But small, artisanal fishing vessels represent another side of the picture that can’t be ignored. Although they often employ low-tech, traditional fishing methods (especially in developing countries), small-boat subsistence fishers and those that supply local markets also supply major seafood supply chains and operate around the world. They catch about the same amount of fish for human consumption as commercial fisheries. Read more
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 participate in a live demo of the tool.
The previous night, at a pre-launch reception, the Secretary spoke to our guests, about the value Global Fishing Watch will bring the State Department’s Safe Ocean Network, an initiative to combat illegal fishing. “What we need to do with the Global Fishing Watch and the joining with this network,” Read more
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 on a wide array of topics related to fisheries reform across South-East Asia and the adjacent Western Pacific. Read more
On dry land, ecologists and conservationists can map our human footprints on the landscape. We can see deforestation, mountaintop removal, river damming and development, and it is relatively easy to recognize our impacts on an ecosystem and the plants and animals that live there. Read more
The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), located in the central Pacific between Hawaii and Australia, is the world’s largest UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spanning a swath of ocean roughly the size of California, its hosts a series of isolated seamounts and almost entirely uninhabited islands, all supporting rich, largely unspoiled ecosystems. Read more
It’s been less than two years since we first demonstrated the Global Fishing Watch prototype in public, and the media coverage hasn’t stopped. Since announcing the prototype we’ve been featured in more than 100 publications on six continents, from the Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal and International Business Times to media outlets in Russia, China, Read more
When it looks like spaghetti, it may be fishing. That’s one of the first lessons students learn when they’re working with Kristina Boerder, one of our academic partners from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Of course, she’s not teaching them about pasta. She’s teaching them about the movement patterns of ships at sea. The students are helping Kristina classify the tracks of ocean-going vessels recorded from satellite signals. Read more