Skip to main content

VIDEO: GPS will be next tool used to stop overfishing

Conservationists released a plan to map illegal fishing — from outer space — by tapping into the very global positioning and fish-finding mechanisms that help lead industrial-scale fishermen to the fish.

Soon the general public will be armed with space-based reconnaissance of the global fleet to create overfishing maps.

Crews on big fishing boats deploy an impressive arsenal of technology, ranging from advanced sonars to GPS navigation and mapping systems, as they chase down prey and trawl the seabed, according to Wired.

These tools are so effective that roughly a third of the world’s fisheries are now over-harvested and more than three-quarters of the stocks that remain have hit their sustainable limit, according to the FAO. For some species, most of the catch is unreported, unregulated or illegal.

With satellite data from SpaceQuest and financial and engineering support from Google, two environmental activist groups have built the first global surveillance system that can track large fishing vessels anywhere in the world.

A prototype of the system, called Global Fishing Watch, was unveiled Thursday at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia.

The tool makes use of Google’s mapping software and servers to display the tracks followed in 2012 and 2013 by 25,000 ships that were either registered as large commercial fishers or were moving in ways that strongly suggest fishing activity.

The project was led by Oceana, a marine conservation advocacy group, and the software was developed by SkyTruth, a small nonprofit that specializes in using remote sensing technologies to map environmentally sensitive activities, such as fracking and flaring from oil and gas fields.

Although the system currently displays voyages from nearly a year ago, “the plan is that we will build out a public release version that will have near-real-time data,” Jackie Savitz, Oceana’s vice president for U.S. oceans, told Wired. “Then you’ll actually be able to see someone out there fishing within hours to days,” fast enough to act on the information if the fishing is happening illegally, such as in a marine protected area.


Perfect Timing

With all the new boats sold recently, it’s inevitable that a good percentage will wind up on the used market. MRAA has launched a Certified Pre-Owned Boat Program to help dealers strengthen this profit center.

A Boatbuilder in Congress?

Robert Healey Jr., of Viking Yacht Co., is running for a U.S. House of Representatives seat in New Jersey.

Monterey and Blackfin to Expand Operations

The company will add 50,000 square feet of manufacturing space to meet increased demand, creating 150 job opportunities.

Pettit Tuff Coat

NEW PRODUCT: Pettit Tuff Coat is a perfect solution for slippery surfaces on your boat or dock. Pettit Tuff Coat is a water-based, rubberized, non-skid coating that prevents slips and falls while looking great! Durable and resistant to chemicals and impact, Pettit Tuff Coat is long-lasting and gentle on bare feet and bikinis.

Aren’t We Great?

Beware of navel-gazing and taking too much credit for our industry’s recent successes.

MRAA Launches Certified Pre-Owned Boat Program

Working with two industry certification partners, the association created a program to help dealers “find greater confidence and profitability in their preowned business.”