Space tech and AI reveal hidden secrets of human sea activity.

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  • Global Fishing Watch is using space technology and AI to track industrial fishing vessels.
  • 75% of the world’s industrial fishing vessels are “dark” and likely operating illegally.

In a groundbreaking study published in the science journal Nature, Global Fishing Watch revealed that the majority of the world’s industrial fishing vessels are operating in the dark, not publicly tracked. These vessels are likely engaging in illegal activities such as fishing in protected areas or encroaching on other countries’ waters. By utilizing space technology and AI, the group aims to shed light on human activity at sea and safeguard the global ocean.

Fernando Paolo, a machine-learning engineer at Global Fishing Watch, emphasized the importance of understanding how the ocean’s resources are being used, stating that historically, vessel activity has been poorly documented. The study’s findings help to eliminate blind spots and provide a comprehensive view of human activity in the ocean.

Global Fishing Watch plans to make their data publicly available, which could not only help monitor illegal fishing activity but also track carbon and oil pollution. With overfishing threatening marine ecosystems, the need for transparency and monitoring of human activity at sea is more crucial than ever. By leveraging technology and data, Global Fishing Watch is paving the way for a new era of ocean management and conservation.

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