December 15, 2017

Oceana and Sky Truth Launch Global Fishing Watch

Oceana, Sky Truth and Google are announcing the launch of  Global Fishing Watch, a technology platform that creates the first global view of commercial fishing. It will give consumers an online platform to share and track information about fishing activity around the world.

Shrimp Trawling Fishing BoatThe system is designed to make what happens on the world’s oceans visible and transparent. Too many fishermen harvest using bottom trawling and bycatch, which catches and destroys many vulnerable and important species of fish and marine life. Sustaining the health of the ocean is a critical priority for the future of the world and its citizens.

Andrew Sharpless, CEO of Oceana, said in a statement, “Global Fishing Watch is designed to empower all stakeholders, including governments, fishery managers, citizens and members of the fishing industry itself, so that together they may work to bring back a healthy, bio-diverse and maximally productive ocean. By engaging citizens to hold their elected officials accountable for managing fisheries sustainable and for enforcing fishing rules, Global Fishing Watch will help bring back the world’s fisheries, protecting and enhancing the livelihoods of the hundreds of millions of people who depend on ocean fisheries for food and income.”

Global Fishing Watch started with 3.7 billion data points collected from two years of satellite images. It covered the movements of more than 100,000 vessels during 2012 and 2013. Then, a behavioral classification model was developed to identify when and where fishing occurred.

The partners in this venture hope that consumers will start to ask questions about how well the ocean and its resources are managed and protected. This project will hopefully start the world on a path toward ocean sustainability and public awareness.

 

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