Nano-satellites help monitor global fishing vessels

Publicly broadcast Automatic Identification System (AIS) messages received by satellites and ground-based receivers comprise the largest source of data used by Global Fishing Watch to track the planet’s fishing vessels, but gaps in AIS signals can occur in areas where satellite coverage is sparse or between satellite passes.  To improve its coverage of fishing vessels Global Fishing Watch has announced a partnership with Spire Global, Inc, who manages a constellation of nano-satellites in low Earth orbit.  Spire’s tiny satellites are launched at a rate of nearly four satellites per month.  Global Fishing Watch estimates that Spire satellites will double the amount of data used to identify and track 60,000 commercial fishing vessels on the world’s oceans.