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How do I use open access remote sensing data to monitor fishing?

WILDLABS Tech Tutors is back! Watch our first episode with Oceanmind's Max Schofield, who tackled the question: How do I use open access remote sensing data to monitor fishing? Watch it on the WILDLABS Youtube Channel! You can also ask Max questions, discuss this topic, and collaborate with other participants in our episode forum thread, and see our collaborative notes doc here.

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About the Series

Introducing the second season of WILDLABS Tech Tutors, our series that focuses on answering the "how do I do that?" questions of conservation tech. Launched with the support of Microsoft AI for Earth, this series will give you the bite-sized, easy-to-understand building blocks you'll need to broaden your conservation technology horizons, enhance your research, or launch a new collaborative project.

Taking place every Thursday, each Tech Tutor will present a 30 minute tutorial guiding you through an aspect of conservation tech, followed by a 30 minute live Q&A session with the audience.

Tech Tutors is made for conservation tech beginners of all knowledge levels (and yes, even experts can still be beginners when it comes to tackling a new aspect of conservation tech or starting a new project!), and because we know that there's always more to learn in the #tech4wildlife world, that's why we're so excited to bring you a brand-new season of WILDLABS Tech Tutors! With presentations that will take you even deeper into those tricky "how do I do that?" questions of conservation tech, we hope you'll discover new perspectives and ideas to bring to your own #tech4wildlife work.

For participants, the outcome will be an increased sense of confidence in their technological skills, the ability to actively build off of the skills discussed in these tutorials, and an opportunity to learn and collaborate with other members of the WILDLABS community. Read about the first season's community highlights here.

Our goal is to customize these tutorials to fit the needs of the community and address your needs, so let us know what you want to see in this season and beyond.

Can't make it? You can find every tutorial after it airs on our Youtube channel. 

Meet your Tutor: Max Schofield, OceanMind

Max is a Fisheries Analyst at OceanMind, a UK based NGO working to empower fisheries enforcement and compliance using innovative technological solutions. In this role Max has diverse geographical experience using commercial and open access satellite data to identify fishing activity, with a focus on identifying and preventing Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing activity. Max currently leads OceanMind’s analytical support to the Royal Thai Government Department of Fisheries.

His current projects include analysing the distribution of fishing effort in the Thai EEZ, tracking the location of IUU vessels operating internationally, and piloting a trial of low-cost vessel tracking units.

Max is originally from New Zealand and follows his passion for the ocean recreationally through fishing, surfing, and spearfishing.

We asked Max...

What will I learn in this episode?

I will discuss two remote sensing datasets from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Copernicus program and their application to look for vessels at sea. These are Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data collected from the Sentinel-1 satellite constellation and optical satellite data collected by the Sentinel-2 satellite constellation. The session will give a brief introduction to each of the sensors and their utilities, look at where to acquire the data, analysis tools and then using these datasets in a marine remote sensing application.

How can I learn more about this subject?

  • There’s lots of information on the Sentinel Mission on the European Space Agency Website
  • There is comprehensive information and documentation around the SNAP analysis toolbox
  • Sentinel data sets can be accessed through the Sentinel Data Access Service Website (SEDAS) website
  • Sentinel-1 data can also be accessed through the Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF) website

If I want to take the next step using this technology, where should I start?

The SNAP have a tutorial series for both the SNAP toolbox and its application for Sentinel-1 and Sentinel 2

Alternatively use the SEDAS or ASF websites to source some data and use a GIS platform to start analysing it. Our organisation uses the open source QGIS platform, there is a huge amount of documentation and tutorials available to do all kinds of analysis on the QGIS website

What advice do you have for a complete beginner in this subject?

Be curious, there’s a huge range of freely available remote sensing data available so I would recommend trialling different datasets for your application, as well as keeping an eye out for new datasets becoming available. We are in a period of exponential growth for Remote Sensing Data and with reduction in satellite costs, increased competition is leading to more data with lots becoming open access. Learn from others, there’s a lot of academic research on remote sensing and object detection and many organisations are using this data. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, it’s much better to learn from others’ work and build on what has already been done.

Have more questions? You can chat with Max, discuss this topic with our community, and collaborate with other participants in our episode forum thread.

Learn more about our upcoming Tech Tutorials

Visit the series page on WILDLABS to find the full list of WILDLABS Tech Tutors.


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