Overfishing is one of the world’s truly alarming problems. We have all been bombarded with information the last years regarding what devastating impact such behaviour can lead to, from the death of whole ecosystems to the sequential starvation of numerous people.
One should remember though, that the issue is of course two-sided. Poor people need to feed their families and are often obliged to do this at any cost. What we should go after are the commercially operating bad guys with greed in their hearts. If the current trajectory in overfishing is followed, all of the world’s fisheries will have collapsed in around 30 years.
Technology under the name of the Global Fishing Watch is trying to fight the problem, with the backup of one of the world’s true corporate powerhouses. The ocean protection group Oceana utilizes software from SkyTruth, the remote sensing mapping company, to combat the issue. With financial as well as engineering support from Google the battle is on for real.
Illegally operating fishermen can be monitored and caught in the act by monitoring the GPS signals sent out from their boats. Satellite data and mapping data from Google, as well as information gathered from four satellites from the microsatellite company SpaceQuest, will be important tools in the mission. The AIS (automated identification system) of each ship is tracked by the satellites. The AIS provides the watcher with a ship’s unique ID number, position and speed among other parameters.
The project is currently testing prototypes and is set to be ready for public use within two years. Read the full article from International Business Times