VIDEO: Eyes on the Seas Fixated on Pirate Fishing

The U.K.-based Satellite Applications Catapult, supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts, has developed a near real-time technology that the company says will help authorities monitor, detect and respond to illegal fishing activity across the world’s oceans.

The live satellite monitoring system, Project Eyes on the Seas, has been developed by the Catapult for Pew and will initially be launched in the waters of Chile, Palau, and the U.K. Overseas Territories. It is the latest stage in a long-term effort by Pew to reduce illegal or ‘pirate’ fishing around the world, which is valued at USD 23.5 billion annually.

Using multiple sources of live satellite tracking data, the system analyses the data and links it to information about a ship’s ownership, history and country of registration, providing a dossier of up-to-the-minute data that can alert officials to suspicious vessel movements.

Project Eyes on the Seas will launch initially with a ‘Virtual Watch Room’ monitoring the waters surrounding Easter Island, a Chilean special territory; the Pacific island nation of Palau. Over the next three years, the plan is to grow the system’s capability and scope as more countries, regional fisheries management organisations, and seafood retail groups commit to using it to ensure that only legally caught seafood is taken from the ocean and reaches consumers’ plates.

Joshua Reichert, Executive Vice President of The Pew Charitable Trusts, explained: ”Project Eyes on the Seas is designed to transform the current very expensive and patchy system of information gathering and enforcement into a global system for identifying and tracking illegal fishing vessels that is far more cost effective. This system will enable authorities to share information on those vessels operating outside of the law, build a comprehensive case against them, track them into port or within reach of enforcement vessels, and take action against them.”

VIDEO 'Eyes on the Seas' Fixated on Pirate Fishing

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