New global atlas on using advanced technology to monitor fishing activity
AIS is a tracking technology designed for navigation safety that transmits a ship's location, identity, course and speed. By using machine-learning algorithms, AIS information allows us to identify vessel's activity at sea.
The number of fishing vessels with AIS is increasing by 10 to 30 percent each year, making this technology more and more informative with time.
"AIS provides detailed tracks of tens of thousands of industrial fishing vessels, and this detailed tracking data has the potential to provide estimates of fishing activity and effort in near real time. This Atlas assesses this potential and shows that AIS can start to be considered a valid technology for estimating fishing indicators," said FAO, the Global Fishing Watch (GFW), AZTI and the Seychelles Fishing Authority in the foreword of the Atlas issued on the sidelines of FAO's International Symposium on Fisheries Sustainability.
Global Fishing Watch (GFW) published in 2018 a first global database of fishing operations based on AIS data. This dataset tracked the activity of over 60,000 fishing vessels, and was used to understand fishing around the world.
But the use of this new technology for monitoring fishing activity needed verifying and reviewing so fisheries managers and policy makers can fully understand its strengths and limitations.