Artificial intelligence and new analysis methods could help reduce illegal fishing in the medium term. Economic damage and one This is intended to minimize overfishing.

Undeclared work is considered to be damaging to the economy. But such and similar practices not only tear massive holes in the state coffers, but also destroy entire ecosystems. Illegal or unregulated fishing is one example that has now become a global problem.

Current calculations assume that up to 26 million tons of fish come from uncontrolled conditions every year. This corresponds to a fifth of the world's catch. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), this black market is worth up to $23 billion.

But in addition to the financial losses, these practices also contribute significantly to overfishing. As a result, a third of the world's fish stocks are fished beyond biologically sustainable limits. The bluefin tuna population is now approximately 2.6 percent of its original size.

Artificial intelligence is supposed to detect illegal fishing via satellite

The organization Global Fishing Watch could take up the fight against illegal activities on the seas in the future. Google, the marine conservation organization Oceana and the environmental group SkyTruth are among the founding members. They rely on AI software and satellite imagery to map the movements of more than 65,000 commercial fishing vessels worldwide.

The AI ​​analyzes several million gigabytes of satellite images to detect ships and offshore infrastructure. The system then checks publicly available data from ship's AIS (Automatic Identification System) signals and combines them with radar and optical images. This helps identify ships that are not broadcasting their positions.

Another project from the University of Southampton and local company RS Aqua takes a different approach. It aims to detect fishing activities in real time using an underwater robot that leverages underwater sensors and AI. The AI ​​is trained to distinguish between natural ocean sounds and the sounds of fishing trawlers operating in protected waters.

Everyone can take part in the fight against illegal fishing

The International Coalition of Fisheries describes illegal fishing as a bane of the industry that not only causes significant ecological and economic damage, but also threatens the sustainability of the fishing industry. Experts therefore see the possible use of AI as an optimal way to supplement traditional law enforcement measures.

In the end, consumers also decide. By actively choosing sustainable decisions and exclusively using products with recognized seals and certifications, each of us can make illegal fishing more difficult. Products from illegal fishing are often hidden in cheap, unverified packaging.

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