The biggest problem in the global fishing industry of late has been that of overfishing. The oceans are being drained of fish and certain species are becoming endangered, all in pursuit of money. This issue has led to the creation of numerous “no fishing” zones around the world, but those rules are frequently broken by poachers.
Well now, a new piece of technology has been rolled out which could help to curtail both of these problems. Global Fishing Watch is a program developed by a pair of non-profit organizations i.e. SkyTruth and Oceana, and backed by Google. The technology essentially makes it possible to keep an eye on fishing boats from above and determine whether or not those vessels are participating in suspicious fishing activity.
SkyTruth has already had a moment in the spotlight. The company, which uses satellite pictures to essentially form a living, breathing map of the globe, was in the news back around the time of the British Petroleum BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig leak back in 2010. Thanks to images obtained and released by SkyTruth, we were able to understand the true extent of the oil spill, which was considerably larger than BP wanted to admit.
Global Fishing Watch will make use of similar “bird’s eye view” images, only with a different goal in mind: catching dishonest commercial fishermen. By March of 2015, anyone will be able to access the Global Fishing Watch system online, zoom in on specific regions like “no fishing” zones, and keep tabs on what certain vessels are doing.
The general perception is that the Global Fishing Watch program would be able to help authorities to not only apprehend poachers but also curtail overfishing around the globe and improve the general health of the marine life around the globe.