Facial recognition software to be used to fight illegal fishing

Signal of change / Facial recognition software to be used to fight illegal fishing

By Joy Green / 06 Dec 2016
The AI behind facial recognition software can already be used to track the movement of fishing boats and flag potential illegal behaviour. Now it looks like a further twist on the software could identify endangered and protected fish on individual boat hauls. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has launched a contest to get the software written and ready to go on electronic monitors which document catches on fishing boats.

So what?

This matters because monitoring catches is currently time and resource-intensive, and auditors can only effectively monitor around 2% of commercial fishing boats in the Western and Central Pacific. As a result, some fishermen illegally keep protected fish that should be returned to the water - particularly sharks due to their high-value fins. Use of the recognition software is expected to make it much easier to track what happens to specific protected species of fish - and enforce good behaviour.



What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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