WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR THE NINTH ANNUAL UNITED NATIONS WORLD OCEANS DAY PHOTO COMPETITION

Six First Place Winners Selected from Thousands of Global Photo Submissions Surrounding 2022 Theme Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean

New York, New York, June 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The winners of the ninth annual United Nations World Oceans Day Photo Competition were announced today during the United Nations World Oceans Day (UNWOD) 2022 event at the UN Headquarters in New York. The free competition, which launched this past March, explored the six thematic categories linked to the overarching 2022 World Oceans day theme: “Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean.” World-renowned judges including wildlife photographer Rathika Ramasamy, Conservation Photojournalist & Marine Biologist Sirachai Arunrugstichai, and Underwater Photographer Y. Zin Kim, selected first, second, and third place winners for the categories: Above Water Seascapes, Underwater Seascapes, Revitalization, Coastal Communities, Ocean Critters, and Nature-Based Solutions & Ocean Exploration. Winners were selected from the thousands of global entries made by both amateur and professional photographers. The United Nations World Oceans Day event and the Photo Competition are hosted by the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, produced with the contribution of Oceanic Global and made possible by La Mer. The annual competition is curated by Ellen Cuylaerts, and coordinated with DivePhotoGuide (DPG) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.

Winning Photos Per Category & Corresponding Captions Can be Viewed Here.

* All photos must include the caption with photographer credit listed per photo, as well as www.unworldoceansday.org to be published.

The 2022 winning photographers hail from over 12 different countries. Their names include: Cao Nguyen Vu, Christophe Mason-Parker (Above Water Seascapes), Damir Zurub, Nat Sumanatemeya, Nicolas Hahn (Underwater Seascapes), Rick Morris, Nuno Vasco Rodrigues, Aunk Horwang (Revitalization), Celia Kujala, Amitava Chandra, Supachai Veerayutthanon, (Coastal Communities), Gaby Barathieu, Jennifer Johnson, Viktor Lyagushkin (Ocean Critters), Tom Vierus, Giacomo d’Orlando (Nature-Based Solutions & Ocean Exploration). All participants signed a Charter of 14 commitments regarding ethics in photography.

The United Nations World Oceans Day Photo Competition is an ongoing tradition that calls on photographers and artists from around the world to communicate the beauty of the ocean and the importance of the respective UNWOD themes each year. Winning photos from past years can additionally be seen at www.unworldoceansday.org.

www.unworldoceansday.org

@unworldoceansday

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Rizzi Stigliano
Oceanic Global
631-241-0398
press@oceanic.global

Indonesia’s G20 HWG Meeting Series Urges World Leaders to Be Prepared for Future Pandemics

LOMBOK, Indonesia, June 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The second Health Working Group (HWG) meeting brought global leaders to initiate a new global emergency fund for future pandemics and focused on facilitating greater sharing of genomic sequencing data, as well as how the Financing Intermediary Fund (FIF) functions under the World bank in preparing for future pandemics.

Ministry of Health Republic of Indonesia discussed the Global Health System Resilience in the second Health Working Group (2nd HWG)

The Indonesian Health Minister, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, encouraged the G20 member states not let pandemic stride without learning valuable lessons.

“Only through great earthquakes, lofty mountains rise. I believe this is true, not only for volcanoes, but also for our humanity. During every crisis, lie great opportunities,” said in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.

The main issues addressed in the 6 to 8 June 2022 meeting were mobilization of financial resources for future pandemic responses.

G20 member states discussed lessons learned from the successes of medical countermeasures initiatives, such as COVAX and the ACT-accelerators that worked efficiently during the pandemic in ushering vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

G20 and its partners, such as GISAID, now is looking at the optimization of genomic surveillance and trusted data sharing mechanisms, allowing the world to quickly identify novel pathogens that may pose new threats to global health security.

“We need a more permanent coordinating platform that can address five cores such as access to countermeasures, emergency coordination, collaborative intelligence, community protection; and clinical care to patients in need,” said the Minister of Health.

Indonesia has committed to donate USD50 million to the FIF. As part of the G20 presidency mandate, Indonesia will also lobby organizations and donors to ensure that the fund benefit the right target countries to prevent conflicting interests from donors and organizations.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s General Secretary, was commended Indonesia’s presidency to prioritize the establishment of global health system architecture and putting it in the G20 agenda.

“We must learn from the lessons this pandemic has taught us because this will not be the last one,” said Dr. Tedros.

To access the Health Working Group plenary opening ceremony and press conference, visit https://www.youtube.com/c/KementerianKesehatanRI.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1835386/52125930441_50fc2d3444_6k.jpg

THE UNITED NATIONS TO HOST ANNUAL WORLD OCEANS DAY EVENT (8 JUNE) WITH THE 2022 THEME REVITALIZATION: COLLECTIVE ACTION FOR THE OCEAN

The United Nations Secretary-General, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, sustainability advocate Amber Valletta, oceanographer Sylvia Earle, economist Ralph Chami, World Champion sailor Lisa Blair, and others will speak at the event produced with the contribution of Oceanic Global and made possible by La Mer

New York, New York, June 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On Wednesday 8 June, the United Nations will host its annual World Oceans Day celebration with the 2022 theme Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean. Produced by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea of the Office of Legal Affairs with the contribution of non-profit organization Oceanic Global, and made possible by La Mer, United Nations World Oceans Day 2022 (UNWOD) will feature keynote speeches, panels, presentations, and performances kicked off by the Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly. The day’s programming will also include leading voices such as sustainability advocate Amber Valletta, International Monetary Fund economist Ralph Chami, World Champion sailor Lisa Blair, deep sea explorer Sheena Talma, and Michelin-star chef Shinobu Namae to name a few. While United Nations World Oceans Day has been fully virtual since 2020, this year’s celebration will once again bring together UN delegates and thought leaders from around the world for an in-person gathering at UN Headquarters in New York. The event will also be open to the public by live stream from 10am -13:30pm (EDT) on the United Nations World Oceans Day website (www.unworldoceansday.org) with the content reshared on the social channels @unworldoceansday.

The ocean connects, sustains, and supports all life on earth, but its health is at a tipping point. And, as the past few years of the pandemic have shown us, we need to work together when addressing issues that impact us all. The UNWOD 2022 theme of “Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean” encourages collaboration towards a new balance with the ocean that no longer depletes its bounty, but instead restores its vibrancy and brings it new life. The day’s programming will call attention to the communities, ideas, and solutions that are working to revitalize the ocean and our blue planet as a whole. It will convene thought-leaders, celebrities, institutional partners, community voices, entrepreneurs, and cross-industry experts to shine a new and hopeful light on humanity’s relationship to the ocean, bring fresh energy and ideas to how we’re addressing key issues, and inspire as well as ignite collective action towards positive change.

UNWOD 2022 will open with remarks by the United Nations Secretary-General, followed by messages from the President of the General Assembly. Keynote remarks will be provided by sustainability advocate Amber Valletta, President and Co-Chair of Mission Blue, Sylvia Earle, Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. João Gomes Cravinho, the International Monetary Fund’s Ralph Chami and Senior Vice President of La Mer, Lesley Crowther. Additional sessions throughout the day include a series of  “Spotlight Solutions” featuring Relais & Châteaux Chef Shinobu Namae, leading landscape architect Kate Orff, and World Champion sailor Lisa Blair, a panel on the “Revitalized Ocean Economy” featuring the Economist’s Martin Koehring and Director of Ocean Sustainability at Salesforce, Whitney Johnston, video messages from actress Nathalie Kelley, aquanot Fabien Cousteau, and a performance by youth environmental action organizer and poet Jade Lozada. The day’s programming will be closed with a musical performance by singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy and guitarist Julian Lage. The winners of the Ninth Annual United Nations World Oceans Day Photo Competition will also be announced by its 2022 Curator, Ellen Cuylaerts.

The annual United Nations World Oceans Day event marks the kick-off “World Ocean Week” during which subsequent events hosted by members of the Friends of UN World Oceans Day platform and other ocean enthusiasts from around the world will continue the conversation surrounding the official theme of UN World Oceans Day 2022 – Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean.

www.unworldoceansday.org

@unworldoceansday

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Rizzi Stigliano
Oceanic Global
631-241-0398
press@oceanic.global

World Bank Commends Deepening Engagement in DRC

KINSHASA, The World Bank’s Director of Strategy and Operations for Eastern and Southern Africa, Humberto Lopez, has concluded a two-day visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during which he and the Country Director, Jean-Christophe Carret, met with Democratic Republic of Congo Finance Minister Nicolas Kazadi, and visited projects under implementation in Kinshasa, including the construction of the future Ozone water treatment plant.

“I appreciate the close partnership and collaboration between the Ministry of Finance, and more generally DRC, and would like to personally thank Minister Kazadi for his efforts to build a solid program with the World Bank that will soon total about $7 billion in grants and credits,” said Mr. Lopez after the meeting.

The Bank’s active portfolio for DRC will reach about $7 billion at the end of June 2022 due to a significant increase in financing from the International Development Association (IDA) in recent years. IDA provides grants and zero or low-interest loans called credits boost economic growth, reduce inequalities, and improve people’s living conditions in the world’s poorest countries.

The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss how the Bank can support DRC in its efforts to preserve its rainforest and basin—the largest rainforest on the African continent and the second largest in the world.

The Bank and the Minister of Finance also signed two financing agreements for a total of $900 million in support of women’s entrepreneurship and improved access to water and electricity in the Kasai and Eastern provinces.

“These operations add to a portfolio of operations focused on building human capital and protecting the country’s poorest—including women—from socio-economic shocks,” said Mr. Carret.

During the visit, the Bank delegation encouraged the authorities to continue their efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccination coverage and commended them for setting up a complaints and reporting system against sexual harassment in schools—a critical tool in the fight to end violence against young girls.

The Bank also reiterated its commitment to DRC in the development of the next phases of the Inga hydroelectric infrastructure.

*The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $29 billion over the last three years (FY19-FY21), with about 70 percent going to Africa. Learn more online: IDA.worldbank.org. #IDAworks

Source: World Bank

WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the COVID-19 media briefing– 8 June 2022

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening,

Globally, the number of reported COVID-19 cases and deaths continues to decline.

This is clearly a very encouraging trend – increasing vaccination rates are saving lives – but WHO continues to urge caution.

Globally, there is not enough testing, and not enough vaccination.

On average, about three-quarters of health workers and people aged over 60 globally have been vaccinated.

But these rates are much lower in low-income countries.

Almost 18 months since the first vaccine was administered, 68 countries have still not achieved 40% coverage.

Vaccine supply is now sufficient, but demand in many countries with the lowest vaccination rates is lacking.

WHO and our partners are working with countries to drive uptake by getting vaccines to where people are, through mobile units, door-to-door campaigns and by mobilizing community leaders.

The perception that the pandemic is over is understandable, but misguided.

More than seven thousand people lost their lives to this virus last week – that’s seven thousand too many.

A new and even more dangerous variant could emerge at any time, and vast numbers of people remain unprotected.

The pandemic is not over, and we will keep saying it’s not over until it is.

===

WHO is also continuing to monitor reports of hepatitis of unknown cause in children.

More than 700 probable cases have now been reported to WHO from 34 countries, and a further 112 cases are under investigation.

At least 38 of these children have needed liver transplants, and 10 have died.

WHO continues working with countries to investigate the cause of hepatitis in these children.

So far, the five viruses that commonly cause hepatitis have not been detected in any of these cases.

WHO receives reports of unexplained hepatitis in children every year, but a few countries have indicated that the rates they are seeing are above what is expected.

Now to monkeypox.

More than one thousand confirmed cases of monkeypox have now been reported to WHO from 29 countries that are not endemic for the disease. So far, no deaths have been reported in these countries.

Cases have been reported mainly, but not only, among men who have sex with men. Some countries are now beginning to report cases of apparent community transmission, including some cases in women.

The sudden and unexpected appearance of monkeypox in several non-endemic countries suggests that there might have been undetected transmission for some time. How long, we don’t know.

The risk of monkeypox becoming established in non-endemic countries is real. WHO is particularly concerned about the risks of this virus for vulnerable groups including children and pregnant women.

But that scenario can be prevented. WHO urges affected countries to make every effort to identify all cases and contacts to control this outbreak and prevent onward spread.

To support countries, WHO has issued guidance on surveillance and contact tracing, and laboratory testing and diagnosis.

In the coming days, we will also issue guidance on clinical care, infection prevention and control, vaccination, and further guidance on community protection.

Last week, WHO hosted a consultation with more than 500 researchers to review what we know and don’t know, and to identify research priorities.

We’re also working with UNAIDS, civil society organizations and communities of men who have sex with men to listen to their questions and provide information on what monkeypox is and how to avoid it.

There are effective ways for people to protect themselves and others – people with symptoms should isolate at home and consult a health worker. Those who share a household with an infected person should avoid close contact.

There are antivirals and vaccines approved for monkeypox, but these are in limited supply. WHO is developing a coordination mechanism for the distribution of supplies based on public health needs and fairness.

WHO does not recommend mass vaccination against monkeypox.

In the few places where vaccines are available, they are being used to protect those who may be exposed, such as health workers and laboratory personnel.

Post-exposure vaccination, ideally within four days of exposure, may be considered by some countries for higher-risk close contacts, such as sexual partners, family members in the same household and health workers.

It’s clearly concerning that monkeypox is spreading in countries where it has not been seen before.

At the same time, we must remember that so far this year there have been more than one thousand four hundred suspected cases of monkeypox in Africa, and 66 deaths.

This virus has been circulating and killing in Africa for decades. It’s an unfortunate reflection of the world we live in that the international community is only now paying attention to monkeypox because it has appeared in high-income countries.

The communities that live with the threat of this virus every day deserve the same concern, the same care and the same access to tools to protect themselves.

Christian, back you to you.

Source: World Health Organization

Belgian King Regrets Colonial ‘Humiliation’ in Landmark Congo Trip

King Philippe of Belgium, in a historic visit to Congo, said on Wednesday that his country’s rule over the vast central African country had inflicted pain and humiliation through a mixture of “paternalism, discrimination and racism.”

In a speech outside Congo’s parliament, Philippe amplified remorse he first voiced two years ago over Belgium’s brutal colonial rule — an era during which historians say millions died.

“This regime was one of an unequal relationship, in itself unjustifiable, marked by paternalism, discrimination and racism,” Philippe said, speaking in French.

“It led to abuse and humiliation,” he said.

The king noted that many Belgians had been sincerely committed to Congo and its people, however.

Philippe landed in Kinshasa on Tuesday afternoon for a six-day visit, billed as a chance for reconciliation between Congo and its former colonial master.

Belgium’s colonization of Congo was one of the harshest imposed by the European powers that ruled most of Africa from the late 19th into the mid-20th centuries.

King Leopold II governed

King Leopold II, the brother of Philippe’s great-great-grandfather, governed what is now Congo as his personal property between 1885 and 1908, before it became a Belgian colony.

Historians say that millions of people were killed, mutilated or died of disease as they were forced to collect rubber under his rule. The land was also pillaged for its mineral wealth, timber and ivory.

As Congo headed to its 60th anniversary of independence, Philippe wrote a letter to Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi in 2020 to express his “deepest regrets” for the “wounds of the past.”

The king’s speech Wednesday went further in expressing regret, but it fell short of an apology for colonial-era crimes.

Looted art

Earlier Wednesday, Philippe visited Congo’s national museum in Kinshasa, where he handed over a mask the ethnic Suku group use in initiation rites.

The ceremonial mask is on “unlimited” loan from Belgium’s Royal Museum for Central Africa, he announced.

The Belgian government last year set out a plan for returning artworks looted during the colonial era, a sensitive topic in Congo.

“The colonizer hauled away our artworks. It’s right that they should be returned to us,” said Louis Karhebwa, 63, a businessman.

Prince Pungi, a young civil servant, agreed. “Congo is changing, moving forward,” he said. “It’s time to take back what belongs to us.”

Philippe is due to address university students in the southern city of Lubumbashi on Friday.

On Sunday, he will also visit the clinic of gynecologist Denis Mukwege, co-winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for his fight against sexual violence, in the eastern city of Bukavu.

His trip comes as Belgium is preparing to return to Kinshasa a tooth — the last remains of Patrice Lumumba, a hero of the anti-colonial struggle and short-lived first prime minister of the independent Congo.

Lumumba was murdered by Congolese separatists and Belgian mercenaries in 1961 and his body dissolved in acid, but the tooth was kept as a trophy by one of his killers, a Belgian police officer.

Eastern violence

The Belgian sovereign’s trip also comes at a time of heightened tension between Kinshasa and neighboring Rwanda over rebel activity in the conflict-torn eastern Congo.

The Congolese government has accused Rwanda of backing the resurgent M23 militia, an accusation that Rwanda has denied.

At a news conference Wednesday in Kinshasa, Tshisekedi told reporters that he saw security support as a priority in Congo’s relationship with Belgium.

“There is no development without security,” the president said.

Congo, a nation of about 90 million people, is one of the poorest countries in the world.

Over 120 groups roam the country’s volatile east, many of which are a consequence of regional wars more than two decades ago, and civilian massacres remain common.

Philippe, in his speech Wednesday, also said the situation in eastern Congo “cannot continue.”

“It is the responsibility of all of us to do something about it,” he added.

Source: Voice of America

Monkeypox Outbreak Tops 1,000 Cases; WHO Warns of ‘Real’ Risk

The risk of monkeypox becoming established in nonendemic nations is real, the WHO warned Wednesday, with more than 1,000 cases confirmed in such countries.

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the U.N. health agency was not recommending mass vaccination against the virus and added that no deaths had been reported from the outbreaks.

“The risk of monkeypox becoming established in nonendemic countries is real,” Tedros told a press conference.

The zoonotic disease is endemic in humans in nine African countries, but outbreaks have been reported in the past month in several other states — mostly in Europe, and notably in Britain, Spain and Portugal.

“More than 1,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox have now been reported to WHO from 29 countries that are not endemic for the disease,” Tedros said.

“So far, no deaths have been reported in these countries. Cases have been reported mainly, but not only, among men who have sex with men.

“Some countries are now beginning to report cases of apparent community transmission, including some cases in women.”

Greece on Wednesday became the latest country to confirm its first case of the disease, with health authorities there saying it involved a man who had recently traveled to Portugal and who was hospitalized in stable condition.

The initial symptoms of monkeypox include a high fever, swollen lymph nodes and a blistery chickenpox-like rash.

Tedros said he was particularly concerned about the risk the virus poses to vulnerable groups, including pregnant women and children.

He said the sudden and unexpected appearance of monkeypox outside endemic countries suggested that there might have been undetected transmission for some time, but it was not known for how long.

One case of monkeypox in a nonendemic country is considered an outbreak.

Tedros said that while this was “clearly concerning,” the virus has been circulating and killing in Africa for decades, with more than 1,400 suspected cases and 66 deaths so far this year.

“The communities that live with the threat of this virus every day deserve the same concern, the same care and the same access to tools to protect themselves,” he said.

Vaccines

In the few places where vaccines are available, they are being used to protect those who may be exposed, such as health care workers.

Tedros said that post-exposure vaccination, ideally within four days, could be considered for higher-risk close contacts, such as sexual partners or household members.

He added that the WHO would issue guidance in the coming days on clinical care, infection prevention and control, vaccination and community protection.

He said people with symptoms should isolate at home and consult a health worker, while people in the same household should avoid close contact.

Few hospitalizations have been reported, apart from patients being isolated, the WHO said last weekend.

Sylvie Briand, the WHO’s epidemic and pandemic preparedness and prevention director, said the smallpox vaccine could be used against monkeypox, a fellow orthopoxvirus, with a high degree of efficacy.

The WHO is trying to determine how many doses are currently available and to find out from manufacturers what their production and distribution capacities are.

Source: Voice of America

Emerging technology gives first ever global view of hidden vessels

Satellite radar and machine learning publicly reveal previously unseen vessel activity around the world

Washington, D.C., June 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Global Fishing Watch has developed and publicly released the first ever global map of previously undetected dark fleets, or vessels that do not broadcast their location or appear in public monitoring systems.

Powered by satellite radar imagery and machine learning, the map layer is updated daily within the main Global Fishing Watch map application. The portal is available for free to anyone in the world with an internet connection, helping arm authorities, researchers and the public alike with the power to monitor vessel activity in all coastal waters, identify dark fleet patterns and build the necessary understanding to quantify threats to the ocean. The user-friendly new map layer helps create equitable access to marine-related data in time for World Ocean Day on June 8.

The lack of information pertaining to how and where vessels are fishing has clouded our understanding of the true global footprint of fishing activity. This makes meaningful change difficult. To see these impacts, satellite radar technology, known as synthetic aperture radar (SAR), functions day and night in all types of weather and can generate imagery despite cloud cover or storm systems, resulting in detection capabilities that are significantly advanced over other satellite-mounted sensors.

“It is surprising how little we have known to date about the true scale of human activity on the water,” said David Kroodsma, director of research and innovation at Global Fishing Watch. “If you combine vessels that intentionally shut off their signal with the significant number of boats that don’t make their whereabouts known in public systems at all, you end up with gaps in data, monitoring and accountability. We are using satellite radar imagery to reduce that information gap and put our findings at the fingertips of those who want to ensure our ocean is managed equitably and sustainably.”

The new global map layer draws from a massive data-processing pipeline and uses machine learning to crunch petabytes, or millions of gigabytes, of radar imagery taken by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 satellites. By analyzing the entire archive of Sentinel-1 radar imagery, Global Fishing Watch has made 20 million detections of sea-going vessels greater than approximately 10 meters in length—and matched these detections to 100 billion GPS points from vessels broadcasting their position on the automatic identification system. This matching differentiates vessels that broadcast their position from those that remain dark in public monitoring systems, resulting in more comprehensive views of vessel movements across the global ocean. This information can help authorities pinpoint areas with suspicious activity and identify vessel patterns that may indicate illegal activity or previously unquantified fishing pressures.

Global Fishing Watch used satellite radar and optical imagery to reveal around 900 vessels of Chinese origin fishing illegally in North Korean waters in violation of United Nations sanctions—the largest known case of illegal fishing by an industrial fleet operating in another nation’s waters. Global Fishing Watch has since improved and expanded its use of satellite radar to study previously unseen fishing activity near marine protected areas in the Mediterranean Sea and hotspots of previously hidden activity in coastal waters around Africa. This emerging method of “seeing” vessels is revealing that the ocean is far busier than conventional monitoring systems show.

“While there are often legitimate reasons for not broadcasting a vessel’s location—not all governments require it—illegal operators will often turn off their signals to conceal their activity,” added Kroodsma. “The use of satellite radar to detect and map previously hidden and potentially illegal or harmful activity has opened a new realm of possibilities for remote sensing and big tech’s battle for the environment.”

Amplifying the potential of satellite radar technology, Global Fishing Watch partnered with the Defense Innovation Unit in July 2021 to host the xView3 competition. The challenge invited machine learning developers from all over the world to create and submit computer algorithms to help detect dark vessels, drawing 1,900 registrants from 67 countries. Global Fishing Watch is using the winning entries announced earlier this year to refine and advance dark vessel detection methods at global scale, and expects to be able to shed light on many human activities on the ocean in the near future.

“By seeing and characterizing the activity of these expansive dark fleets, we can begin to better understand and quantify not just illegal fishing but a great deal of human activity that is impacting our marine environment,” said Paul Woods, chief innovation officer at Global Fishing Watch. “These are exciting times when it comes to open, accessible data that anyone can use for free to understand and advocate for the fragile marine areas they care about most.”

About satellite radar imagery: Satellite radar is able to overcome limitations of other satellite-based monitoring systems with its ability to see through rain, darkness and cloud cover. Radar can detect at-sea vessels and structures in any weather conditions and its imaging capabilities make it one of the most powerful tools of remote sensing. Satellite radar is an active sensor that shoots microwaves to the earth surface and measures the amplitude and phase of the signals that are reflected back from objects on the ground and water, known as backscatter. The images formed from this backscatter contain rich information about size, orientation, composition, condition and texture of the features on the water. These imaging systems hold an advantage over passive satellite sensors, such as electro-optical imagery, which is similar to taking a picture with a camera and relies on sunlight and/or the infrared radiation emitted by objects on the ground. This latter method can be confounded by cloud cover, haze, weather events, and seasonal darkness at high latitudes. Satellite radar by comparison has proven to be the most consistent option for detecting vessels at sea.

Global Fishing Watch is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing ocean governance through increased transparency of human activity at sea. By creating and publicly sharing map visualizations, data and analysis tools, we aim to enable scientific research and transform the way our ocean is managed. We believe human activity at sea should be public knowledge in order to safeguard the global ocean for the common good of all.

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Bret Yager
Global Fishing Watch
bret.yager@globalfishingwatch.org