As you may have heard yesterday on The Beacon, Oceana, Google, and SkyTruth announced their new platform, Global Fishing Watch, that uses satellite data to track fishing activity around the world. The unprecedented tool will provides citizens, fishery managers, and government groups with a unique look into fishing activity throughout the world’s oceans, and will help them demand transparency in the fishing industry. The trio unveiled the prototype yesterday at the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, and the publicly-available version will be coming next year.
“Global Fishing Watch uses big data and massive computing capacity to transform fisheries management by exposing illegal practices and creating a deterrent to breaking the law,” says Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless. “This will allow policies like catch limits and habitat protection measures to work, to bring back fishery abundance and help feed our growing populations.”
To help consumers better understand the platform and its uses, Oceana, Google, and SkyTruth have also released a demonstration video for the public to become acquainted with Global Fishing Watch. It providers viewers with a look into the assets of the technology, such as by showing them how Global Fishing Watch can be manipulate data across different time-frames, nations, and locations—and even relay data against seafloor bathymetry.
“This is the first tool that can not only map and measure fishing activity worldwide, but also show by whom. Any citizen with access to the internet will be able to use Global Fishing Watch, and that makes the potential power of this tool that much greater. The more citizens pressure governments to enforce fishery laws, and consumers pressure the fishing industry to be transparent, hopefully a lot less illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activity will occur,” says Oceana policy fellow and report author Daniel Hess. “Hopefully this tool can create a continuous cycle of increasing transparency.”
Take a look below to orient yourself with the capabilities of this new technology, and you can learn more about Global Fishing Watch here.