Watch 35,000 Fishing Vessels Move Around the World in This Map

There are thousands of ships sailing the seas to catch the fish you eat, and now you can watch them sail the ocean in almost real-time on this interactive map

The Global Fishing Watch map is a combined effort from Oceana, Google, and SkyTruth. It keeps track of over 35,000 fishing ships using a combination of satellite and the ships’ own broadcast data. The tracking data begins in 2012, but continues updating so that you can see ships moving across the map as recently as three days.

Oceana says that this updating tracking data could be used to both reduce incidents of seafood fraud and to track vessels that are engaging in overfishing or hitting prohibited areas. The map’s real impact of overfishing may be a little less of a direct line, though. Showing just how heavily our waters are being fished, and how much it’s happening right in our own neighborhoods might encourage people to choose more sustainable varieties of seafood, or at least, to be a little more wary of where they come from.


You can check out the map for yourself right here.

Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to SkyTruth as SkyWatch.

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Can we incinerate violators with our space death laser?

That being said, all of the waters off China and Japan are conveniently not shown in the GIF where I suspect a large quantity of space death laser blasts would be directed.