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Providing cost-effective, high impact MPA monitoring solutions that are globally scalable

Providing cost-effective, high impact MPA monitoring solutions that are globally scalable

January 2021

OceanMind is a not-for-profit organisation based in the United Kingdom with the mission to power marine enforcement and compliance to protect the ocean’s ability to provide for human wellbeing. OceanMind’s work helps increase the sustainability of fishing globally through actionable insights into commercial and fishing vessel activity.

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the UK and globally face the challenge that it is difficult to see what happens within them and that regulators cannot be everywhere all at once. Traditional monitoring tools are costly and often ineffective, existing tools such as VMS are only installed on around 10% of vessels leaving significant data gaps. These challenges can result in undetected activities that damage vulnerable or protected marine ecosystems.

BFCT will support OceanMind who will trial a range of remote sensing tools such as Electro-Optical (EO) satellite imagery, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), combined with vessel tracking systems such as Automatic Identification System (AIS) and other mobile or in-situ sensors across 5 MPAs in the UK. Such tools will produce an accurate and near real-time picture of number of infringements by vessel type. At the end of this pilot, a final report will summarise recommendations of implementable and cost-effective technologies to increase visibility of activity and protection of these MPAs. The findings will assist government regulators through the provision of actionable intelligence and evidence regarding non-compliant activity in MPAs in the UK to protect marine biodiversity in a meaningful way.

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