Global Fishing Watch Environmental Drivers of Fishing Effort Workshop

Between May 10 and 14, 2017, the Environmental Drivers of Fishing Effort Workshop was held at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Nereus attendance at the workshop included participation from Director of Science William Cheung (UBC), Principal Investigator Pat Halpin (Duke), Research Associate Derek Tittensor (Cambridge/UNEP-WCMC), Fellow Daniel Dunn (Duke), Fellow Guillermo Ortuño-Crespo (Duke), Fellow Gabriel Reygondeau (UBC), and Fellow Vicky Lam (UBC).

At the workshop, Guillermo Ortuño-Crespo presented his PhD findings in regards to modelling environmental drivers of global fishing effort distribution using Automatic Identification System (AIS) data from Global Fishing Watch. This data tracks the location and activity of fishing vessels over time. Throughout the duration of the workshop, Nereus affiliates discussed the data, models, and results of ongoing projects and brainstormed how AIS data may be implemented in future projects.

Global Fishing Watch is a technology-based partnership that started between digital mapping non-profit SkyTruth, oceans advocacy foundation Oceana, and Google’s Google Earth Outreach program, “designed to show all of the trackable fishing activity in the ocean” via an interactive web tool. With the goal of combating fisheries decline, the project will “reveal the intensity of fishing effort around the world” and help citizens hold world leaders accountable for the maintenance of an abundant ocean. The workshop will bring together researchers to share relevant data, research methods, and tools, as well as discuss future collaborations.