How AI is Tracking Illegal Fishing From Space

This fugitive ship got away with stealing millions of fish for years. Inside how experts are using AI to fight illegal fishing on a massive scale.
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OceanMind does not endorse the blowing up of vessels. This action is done independently from OceanMind by the Indonesian government.

The vessel sometimes known as the STS-50 had been engaging in illegal fishing targeting Patagonian toothfish, also known as Chilean sea bass, for years. It was in the Northwestern Pacific in Chinese ports. It was in Southwest and Southeast Africa. It was operating in the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific and Southern Oceans. The vessel just became a rotating cast of identities, names, home ports, and flag states that they were constantly changing out in an attempt to evade law enforcement around the world. They lied to port officials, they lied to coastal states, they submitted false documentation relating to the catch onboard the vessel and what they were trying to export. A significant portion of the world’s fisheries are overfished and this trend is only growing.

IUU fishing is a major contributor to unsustainable fishing practices around the world. Some estimates have placed the upper end of the value at 23.5 billion US dollars per year in product and up to one in five fish being linked to possible illegal fishing. There’s frequently an overlap in operators who are willing to engage in illegal fishing and in forced labor. If you’re willing to break the rules for fisheries, you’re probably also willing to break the rules and abuse your crew by forcibly keeping them onboard the vessel, which they can’t leave because it’s out at sea. The STS-50 is a case in point.

It really comes down to the problem that when you get off shore it’s harder for law enforcement to monitor what’s actually happening on board vessels. And this is where OceanMind comes in, OceanMind started out as a technology project to better identify illegal fishing for action by enforcement authorities.

#illegalfishing #OceanMind #AI #wildlife #wildcrime #seeker #nature #conservation

Read More:
The hunt for the fish pirates who exploit the sea
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190213-the-dramatic-hunt-for-the-fish-pirates-exploiting-our-seas
“For 10 years, a rogue fishing vessel and its crew plundered the world’s oceans, escaping repeated attempts of capture. Then a dramatic pursuit across the high seas finally netted the one that got away.”

Catch Me If You Can: The Global Pursuit of a Fugitive Ship

Catch Me If You Can: The Global Pursuit of a Fugitive Ship


“The tale of a notorious fishing vessel shows just how difficult combating illegal activity at sea can be.”

The hunt for the modern-day pirates who steal millions of tons of fish from the seas
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/modern-day-pirates-steal-millions-tons-fish-seas-180975496/
“The tale of this pirate fishing ship, perhaps the most notorious of our time, shines a light into the shadowy universe of illegal fishing—the operators who fund it, the damage they cause to fragile ocean ecosystems and the ways they turn unsuspecting workers into indentured servants.”

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing
https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/articles/2013/02/25/illegal-unreported-and-unregulated-fishing-frequently-asked-questions
“Pressure on the world’s fish stocks is at an all-time high, and although most industrial fishing operations act within the law, some take to the seas fully intending to steal fish.”

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Across the globe, elephants are poached for their tusks, pangolins for their scales, and totoaba fish for their bladders. Tackling the fourth largest crime industry in the world isn’t easy, but biologists, roboticists, detectives and even NASA scientists are getting creative in the hopes of making a difference. In this Seeker series, we’ll investigate true stories of wildlife crime and meet the people who are working to protect the world’s most endangered and persecuted animals.

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