A fishing boat at sea

Credit: Seung-Ho Lee, author provided

A “dark fleet” of hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels has illegally caught more than half a billion dollars worth of squid in North Korean waters since 2017, according to new research 即利用卫星技术,对水的观察和机器学习跟踪未报告船只。非法捕捞可能驱动的小型朝鲜渔船进入危险水域,并促成了鱿鱼日本的急剧下降。

A global problem

非法,不报告和不管制捕捞是一个全球性问题。它威胁到鱼类资源,海洋生态系统,以及全球合法捕捞社区的生计和粮食安全。这种捕鱼是很难各国政府解决,因为它是由未出现在公众监督系统的船只“黑暗舰队”经常进行。

然而,与来自韩国,日本,澳大利亚和美国队的工作,我们已经设计出一种新的方法来跟踪秘密钓鱼。我们用它来识别来自中国的900多名血管起源是非法捕鱼的朝鲜海域在2017年,超过700在2018年的研究今天发表在 Science Advances.

Dark fleet infographic
As Chinese vessels fish North Korean waters, North Korean boats move further north towards Russia. Click to expand
Credit: Global Fishing Watch

Sanctions and ghost boats

Three different types of fishing boats
A pair trawler, a Chinese lighting vessel and a North Korean fishing boat.
Credit: East Sea Fisheries Management Service, South Korea / Seung-Ho Lee

Chinese vessels have historically fished the waters adjacent to North Korea. However, in 2017 the UN Security Counciladopted sanctions restricting North Korea’s fisheries and seafood trade in response to ballistic missile testing. The sanctions also prohibited North Korea from selling or transferring fishing rights.

由于制裁,中国捕鱼船在朝鲜2017年9月后,将构成违反一方或双方国际法和国内法的。尽管如此,韩国海岸警卫队通过其水域识别数百个中国血统的传球船途中朝鲜渔场。

此外,中国的捕鱼活动已经取代较小的朝鲜渔船,其中许多已在邻近的俄罗斯水域被打入非法捕鱼。这些船只缺乏这些遥远而危险的水域设备或耐力。日本沿海社区曾报道几百个这样的船只漂流上岸作为 “ghost boats,” empty or carrying only human remains.

Lighting up the dark fleet

Our multinational study was initiated at a technical workshop in 2018, co-hosted by the international non-profit organisation Global Fishing Watch, Japan’s Fisheries Research and Education Agency, and the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ancors)在卧龙岗大学。这项研究是由来自全球捕鱼手表,jungsam从韩国海洋水产研究所李载允园区领导,包括科学家,工程师和来自韩国的政策专家,日本,澳大利亚和美国。

Together, the research team conducted an unprecedented synthesis of four satellite technologies, combining automatic identification system (AIS) data, optical imagery, infrared imagery, and satellite radar to create the most comprehensive picture of fishing activities in the area to date.

Satellite detection of dark fleet infographic
Click to expand
Credit: Global Fishing Watch

The research team focused on the two most common types of fishing vessels active in the area: pair trawlers and lighting vessels.

对拖网渔船旅游两人一组,拖动它们之间的净,并可在卫星图像由它们的特征对识别。小组使用一种称为卷积神经网络的机器学习方法来挑选出从高分辨率光学卫星图像对拖网渔船,与卫星雷达验证和AIS数据。

与这三种技术,该小组估计约为796不同对拖网渔船在朝鲜海域在2017年工作,并在2018年588,并追查这些船只返回中国港口。

Satellite map of boats
Pair trawlers can be detected from satellite imagery. Click to expand
Credit: Planet / Global Fishing Watch

Lighting vessels use bright lights to attract fish. The Chinese vessels are uniquely bright, using as many as 700 incandescent bulbs which put out as much light as some football stadiums.

跟踪这些照明容器,该研究小组使用高灵敏度红外图像交叉引用与高分辨率的光学图像和卫星雷达。这种分析在2018年确定的在2017年和130在朝鲜海域原产于中国经营的约108照明的船只。

These analyses allowed researchers to estimate that more than 900 distinct fishing vessels fished these waters in 2017, and more than 700 in 2018.

Map of dark fleet routes
Automatic identification system (AIS) data show the origin of vessels fishing in North Korean waters.
Credit: Global Fishing Watch

我们还发现低强度照明船:更小的船只的朝鲜队。朝鲜渔船通常木船长10-20米,只用5到20个灯泡。

我们发现约3000条朝鲜船只在2018年在俄罗斯水域捕鱼而俄罗斯历史上许可的朝鲜船只较少,但它们停止发放许可证在2017年,这表明这个活动也很可能违反了法律钓鱼。

In recent weeks, the study team has undertaken a follow-up analysis 验证是否非法捕捞继续在中期以来,文初提交给同行评审。分析鉴定出中国在朝鲜海域捕捞2019大约800的船只,这表明非法活动正在进行。

A political and ecological problem

这个庞大的运营对渔业治理和区域政治有着重要影响。如果船只不被中国和朝鲜批准,他们违反了中国和/或朝鲜国内法规非法捕鱼。在另一方面,如果他们 are authorised by China or North Korea, it is a violation of UN sanctions and illegal under international law.

In addition, the fishing is a catastrophe for regional fish stocks. The Japanese flying squid (Todarodes pacificus)是由几个捕鱼船队针对性,是对韩国,朝鲜和日本的关键海鲜。缺乏合作和数据共享功能准确资源评估和渔业的可持续管理已经已经约80%自2003年以来有所下降。

Flying squid infographic
Japanese flying squid are in sharp decline. Click to expand
Credit: Global Fishing Watch

这项研究表明,以改善往往隐藏动力学助长非法,不报告和不管制捕捞的理解的持续需求。政治障碍和冲突经常妨碍国际合作,实现数据共享和有效的联合渔业管理。

结合卫星技术可以揭示黑暗舰队的活动,填补了遥远的渔业管理的一大空白。但为了确保安全,合法和可持续渔业,区域合作和重新重视透明度和报告是必要的。

This article was written by Quentin Hanich, associate professor, University of Wollongong and Katherine Seto, assistant professor of marine and coastal governance, University of California, Santa Cruz. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.