Presentation Title

Overview of Technology Use Against Illegal Fishing Using AIS Data

Format of Presentation

15-minute lecture to be presented the Saturday of the conference

Abstract

This presentation explores the issue of illegal fishing under the scope of Social Network Analysis. Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a criminal industry estimated to account for over 10 billion dollars annually, and plays a large part in the excessive exploitation of fish stocks around the world. Research has been conducted on this matter, and researchers are now able to assess suspicious activity at sea by analyzing data from the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and cross-referencing that information with other sources, such as Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imaging. However, even with the success of these technologies culminating in vessel apprehensions by law enforcement agencies, the infrastructural impact this entails is dwarfed by the profits obtained from these activities. One of the factors contributing to the difficulty in end-point monitoring for marine products of illegal origins is the use of transshipment vessels. These collect products from both legal and illegal fishing vessels and transport it to ports with more lax regulations, where they can offload their untraceable cargo into mainstream markets and generate profits for the illegal organizations that coordinate these operations. This presentation proposes that we analyze the network of transshipment vessels in the ocean by visualizing it under the scope of Social Network Analysis. We create a social network graph from the vessels at sea, and define the connections between them according to encounters between these vessels. By visualizing the vessels in this manner, we can infer which are likely to be used for transshipment purposes. Determining these interactions between vessels could provide useful information to aid law enforcement efforts around the world in understanding the structure of the illegal organizations profiting off of these activities, and contribute to a data-driven approach in combating these operations worldwide.

Department

Computing Science

Faculty Advisor

Andrew Park

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Overview of Technology Use Against Illegal Fishing Using AIS Data

This presentation explores the issue of illegal fishing under the scope of Social Network Analysis. Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a criminal industry estimated to account for over 10 billion dollars annually, and plays a large part in the excessive exploitation of fish stocks around the world. Research has been conducted on this matter, and researchers are now able to assess suspicious activity at sea by analyzing data from the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and cross-referencing that information with other sources, such as Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imaging. However, even with the success of these technologies culminating in vessel apprehensions by law enforcement agencies, the infrastructural impact this entails is dwarfed by the profits obtained from these activities. One of the factors contributing to the difficulty in end-point monitoring for marine products of illegal origins is the use of transshipment vessels. These collect products from both legal and illegal fishing vessels and transport it to ports with more lax regulations, where they can offload their untraceable cargo into mainstream markets and generate profits for the illegal organizations that coordinate these operations. This presentation proposes that we analyze the network of transshipment vessels in the ocean by visualizing it under the scope of Social Network Analysis. We create a social network graph from the vessels at sea, and define the connections between them according to encounters between these vessels. By visualizing the vessels in this manner, we can infer which are likely to be used for transshipment purposes. Determining these interactions between vessels could provide useful information to aid law enforcement efforts around the world in understanding the structure of the illegal organizations profiting off of these activities, and contribute to a data-driven approach in combating these operations worldwide.