Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is valued globally between USD 10 and 23.5 billion (15% of total global supply). Fisheries must adhere to a strict set of maritime laws and regulations to curb excessive overfishing and assure sustainability. IUU fishing occurs when these rules are disregarded by exceeding quotas; using unlawful fishing methods; fishing in protected areas/species; or fishing in forbidden periods.
MONITORED AI is a space-based application aimed at the Detection & Prevention of IUU fishing. The AI powered solution integrates Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery and Automatic Identification System (AIS) to autonomously detect dark vessels (no AIS transmission) and spot suspicious behaviour.
In June of 2020, OPT/NET was awarded a contract by the European Space Agency to research the technical and commercial feasibility of the proposed solution to illegal fishing. The project has concluded as a complete success and discussions are being held for a larger follow on demonstration project.
The problem we are solving
Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a leading issue impacting
ocean sustainability, and characterising it is challenging due to its clandestine
nature. The detection and classification of IUU vessels, especially in the case of
small targets, is a point of high interest but it is inherently difficult.
Currently, methods for preventing these crimes are surface (sea) based,
extremely localised and manually driven. Satellite imagery is used, although
organisations report understaffing and a lack of trained analysts inhibiting it from
being used proactively. These limitations make these methods ineffective for the
timely detection of on-going crimes.
OPT/NET BV is in an unmatched position to offer a solution to this challenge as
its core competencies are in Geo-Artificial Intelligence, Geospatial Imagery
Processing and critical infrastructure monitoring.