Analysis of marine fishing using vessels trajectories: global structure, suspicious behavior and emergent pathways

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Fishing may bring threats to marine ecosystems due to, for example, resource overexploitation or by-catch. Thus, understanding its spatial distribution and logistics helps monitoring and managing this activity. In this talk, I will describe our analyses of globally distributed Automatic Identification System (AIS) data from fishing vessels. AIS is a safety-oriented system that provides high-temporal resolution data such as the vessel identifier, its location or speed. First, we focused on the common resources, the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, where national regulations do not apply. In these regions, we used the trajectory data to estimate the fishing effort and obtain the marine fishing provinces that better described the vessels’ movement. We used these provinces to create a network linking them to their supporting ports, finding an important role of low- and middle-income countries [1]. Second, we detected no-data gaps in the trajectories, and we developed an algorithm to test where these gaps could not be explained by a random failure of the devices. Interestingly, such absences appeared frequently close to Marine Protected Areas or Exclusive Economic Zone limits [2].

[1] Rodríguez et al., Sci. Adv. 7, eabe3470 (2021)

[2] Rodríguez et al., EPJ Data Sci. 13, 23 (2024)


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Sandro Meloni

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