Monitoring and tracking illegal fishing boats: For over 10 years, this mission has been entrusted to CLS, a subsidiary of the CNES that assists governments worldwide in the management of their maritime areas. Using satellite data, this SME based in Toulouse, France follows and regulates the activity of thousands of ships in Indonesia. For our next Space Tuesday (Mardi de l’espace), Olivier Germain, head of the INDESO project, which plans on building a Space Oceanography Center in Indonesia, will discuss the importance of monitoring and regulating fishing and pollution in the largest archipelago in the world.
A satellite radar image showing the detection of hydrocarbon pollution
caused by voluntary (and illegal) emptying of a ship’s fuel tanks.
With some17,000 islands in its archipelago, Indonesia is the world’s 6th largest maritime area. More than 6.5 million people depend on the water as the source of their livelihood. The exploitation of its marine environment therefore plays a major role in the economy of this country. Unfortunately, 30 million Indonesians suffer from malnutrition; it has become crucial to improve food security. Sustainable management and careful monitoring of this huge water network has become a priority for the authorities. But how is it possible to inspect every nook and cranny of this gigantic maze efficiently?
The Indonesian government will soon be using satellite images to manage their aquatic zones. Created by the CNES in 1986, CLS (Collecte Localisation Satellites) will provide them with the means to make use of environmental satellite data about the archipelago. The global leader in gathering information related to the environment, to localization, monitoring and observation of the oceans via satellite, CLS will open a new Space Oceanography Center in Indonesia before the end of the year to manage the local marine resources sustainably.
Using data from this Center and combining them with those provided by Argos satellite markers equipping about 3,000 industrial ships in the country, the authorities will be able to monitor their activities and ensure they adopt a wise and sustainable fishing activity. Satellite imaging radar, which can be used day and night regardless of cloud cover, will be able to sweep over large areas of water, 24/7, to track down any ships engaged in illegal fishing or emptying of fuel tanks.
“This system has already proven itself regarding the monitoring of illegal fishing and the environment,” says Dr. Vincent Kerbaol, Director of Radar Applications at the CLS. “After 10 years of operational use, its effectiveness is real. Scientists, fishermen and coastguards all agree on its efficacity in terms of fish stocks and reduced pollution. The application of this type of service has a positive impact.”
CLS is, thus, helping countries better control their maritime spaces and plans on expanding its services to other countries in Asia this coming year. What kind of maritime information can be obtained from space? How can this space-based information be used? What are the objectives of Indonesia and other countries who turn to space to manage their waters? To discuss these issues, the CNES, CLS, MyScienceWork and the Bar des Sciences invite you to come participate in the next Space Tuesday, tonight at the Café du Pont Neuf in Paris at 19:30. You can also follow the event on Twitter via the hashtag #CNESTweetup.