• How disappearing ships could hold the clue to stopping #illegal_fishing - Washington Post

    Recently, the team at #Global_Fishing_Watch had a novel idea: instead of looking for where fishing boats broadcast their positions, what if they looked for where they hid them? “The AIS data tells us a lot, but the absence of it does as well,” Tyler Clavelle, a data scientist at Global Fishing Watch, told me.

    Together with scientists from the University of California at Santa Cruz and #NOAA #Fisheries, Global Fishing Watch analyzed more than 28 billion AIS signals from 2017 to 2019. The researchers identified more than 55,000 gaps in the data and discovered that disabled transponders hide about 6 percent of the globe’s commercial fishing activity.

    Fishing boats often hide their signals on the edge of Exclusive Economic Zone (#EEZ) boundaries, where countries have the right to exploit the resources within 200 nautical miles off their shoreline. That’s just what the Oyang 77 did in early 2019 when it vanished and reappeared near the boundary of Argentina’s EEZ.