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Orbcomm helps stamp out illegal fishing

Steve Rogerson
September 22, 2016
Orbcomm’s satellite technology is being used in the battle against illegal fishing. Global Fishing Watch is using the New Jersey company’s technology to provide global satellite automatic identification system (AIS) data from commercial fishing vessels for its online platform.
Global Fishing Watch is a collaboration by Oceana, Google and SkyTruth to end illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by identifying fishing vessels and analysing fishing activity to ensure environmental regulations are upheld. The platform was launched by actor and ocean advocate Leonardo DiCaprio at the Our Ocean Conference in Washington, DC, this month.
Orbcomm provides Global Fishing Watch with more than 20 million AIS data points every day that show the movement of the world’s largest commercial vessels over time. By leveraging the AIS service, Global Fishing Watch can classify these time-stamped positional vessel data points as either fishing or non-fishing activities, enabling anyone in the world to have free access to a near real-time and historical global view of fishing activity.
This platform will increase the commercial fishing industry’s accountability by allowing fisheries to identify unauthorised activity, while enhancing environmental regulation compliance and facilitating seafood supply chain transparency. It will also provide a tool to governments, non-government organisations and researchers for the enforcement of IUU regulations and Marine Protected Areas.
“We are pleased to be an integral part of this new era in ocean resource conservation by powering Global Fishing Watch’s new online platform with our industry-leading AIS service,” said Marc Eisenberg, Orbcomm’s chief executive officer. “By providing a comprehensive view of commercial vessel activity worldwide, we can help Global Fishing Watch better manage fishing quotas and harvesting and help preserve depleting ocean resources around the world, which are threatened by global overfishing, illegal fishing and habitat destruction.”