A Spy in the Sky Against Pirate Fishing

strange behaviors

Bluefin tuna (Photo: Franco Banfi/Getty Images) Bluefin tuna (Photo: Franco Banfi/Getty Images)

On a large monitor in a room in Harwell, England, the planet Earth rotated against a black background. Brightly colored dots bunched up against the shorelines of the continents, with other points scattered across the oceans. It looked like something from the latest James Bond film. In fact, those dots represented the location of nearly every known fishing vessel now at sea, monitored in close to real-time by satellite.  The visualization—it’s not quite reality yet—was part of an ambitious new program that its backers believe will be the best tool yet for ending the scourge of pirate fishing.

“Outside of the military, we are not aware of any project that will bring so many layers of information together and bring so many stakeholders together to end illegal fishing,” said Tony Long, director of the Ending Illegal Fishing Project for the Pew Charitable Trusts. “

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