Technology

Services we offer

The Ocean Sustainability Business Unit offers two core products:

Monitoring and insight into fishing activities worldwide – our platform offers monitoring and analysis of activities in Exclusive Economic Zones and marine reserves, resulting in improved maritime domain awareness for governments and other organisations interested in a more comprehensive understanding of vessel activities in their waters. The customer can receive actionable information in the most appropriate form to allow an effective response to threats.

At-sea supply chain traceability for retailers – we supply ‘hook to port’ insight to enable greater risk management across your supply chain. Discrete analyses of specific vessels and/or fleets are available to provider greater understanding of IUU risk.

By extending retail supply chain monitoring beyond the port delivery and onto the seas, we can increase certainty about where and when seafood was caught, add insights into the fishing method, vessel and operators involved, and help prove the provenance of your seafood sources.

By incorporating data into our monitoring platform relating to the people working on the vessels and working with partners on the ground in country, we can identify risk associated with human trafficking or forced labour on vessels.eye

How are our products different?

Our products have been designed to counter the threat of IUU fishing while keeping in mind both enforcement and compliance aspects of the industry. We have worked extensively with fisheries analysts in different types of organisation to understand what information is most important to them in both combatting illegal fishing and confirming legal fishing, and we have designed specialist tools to meet these unique needs.

Our technology fuses numerous disparate data sources, many of which have not been previously routinely combined, and applies advanced computer algorithms to these datasets in order to provide an accurate, trustworthy picture of human activity on the oceans.

Supported by machine learning techniques and advanced processing, our specialist fisheries analysts interpret the information to provide value-driven, auditable and actionable information and recommendations to the customer.

By focusing on using computing capability to offload repetitive and complex data handling work from the user, we free analysts up to focus on the insightful activities only an experienced fisheries analyst can deliver.

Data Sources

Some of our data sources include:

Vessel tracking – The system uses multiple sources of vessel tracking information including:

  • Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, which broadcasts a vessel’s identity, position, and other information to nearby vessels, coastal tracking stations, and low-orbiting commercial satellites. Under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, all commercial vessels larger than 300 gross tons must use AIS, but it is not mandatory for fishing vessels unless a coastal state requires it for ships under its jurisdiction.
  • The system also has the capability to incorporate Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data, which is typically mandated as a condition of being licensed to fish in a particular region. VMS data is typically sent from a vessel to fisheries management authorities via secure satellite communications to evidence a vessel’s location, course, and speed on a regular basis. VMS systems are designed to be tamper-resistant and are often subject to official regulations.

Satellite imagery – When AIS or VMS transponder data are inconsistent or unavailable, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) or Optical images from satellites help track vessel activity. Satellites with SAR sensors circle the globe and produce observations day or night, largely unaffected by weather. The system is also capable of incorporating optical satellite imagery, which provides high-resolution images for smaller, targeted areas of ocean in appropriate circumstances.

Vessel databases – The Ocean Sustainability Business Unit, together with its partner organisations, has developed a credible and comprehensive global database of fishing vessels that combines international, regional, and national vessel registries with verified data sets. Other databases can be incorporated, based on the user’s needs.

Automated analysis – Computer algorithms detect vessels’ movements and can spot patterns that indicate when boats are fishing or engaged in suspicious activity. The system can then alert a fisheries analyst when suspicious behaviour is noted, allowing a faster, more efficient way of monitoring large areas of the ocean.

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