New research has generated a comprehensive system for tracking and monitoring fishing vessels — from the moment they disembark from the shipyard to their eventual dismantlement at a ship graveyard — which can help determine possible instances of unlawful fishing.

Published in Science Advances, the new study fuses a decade’s worth of satellite vessel tracking data with identification information from more than 40 public registries to generate a first-of-its-kind global assessment of fishing compliance, foreign ownership of vessels, and reflagging — the process of ships changing their flags from one country to another, often without a legitimate reason.

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