Publicly Available Dark Vessel Monitoring
Global Fishing Watch has developed and publicly released the first-ever global map of previously undetected dark fleets, or vessels that do not broadcast their location or appear in public monitoring systems.
Powered by satellite radar imagery and machine learning, the map layer is updated daily within the main Global Fishing Watch map application. The portal is available for free to anyone in the world with an internet connection, provding authorities, researchers and the public alike the ability to monitor vessel activity in all coastal waters, identify dark fleet patterns and build the necessary understanding to quantify threats to the ocean.
The lack of information pertaining to how and where vessels are fishing has clouded our understanding of the true global footprint of fishing activity. This makes meaningful change difficult. To see these impacts, satellite radar technology, known as synthetic aperture radar (SAR), functions day and night in all types of weather and can generate imagery despite cloud cover or storm systems, resulting in detection capabilities that are significantly advanced over other satellite-mounted sensors.