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Project Database
Project Reference: ITP/064/22LP
Project Title: AIS Vessel Trajectory Analysis for Illegal Fishing
Hosting Institution: LSCM R&D Centre (LSCM)
Abstract: Illegal fishing has been reported to account for up to 30% of all fishing worldwide with $23
billion economic damage per year. According to the report studied by the Government of
Canada in 2019, illegal fishing has posed serious threats to marine biodiversity, fisheries
sustainability, the balance of marine ecosystems, fish food security, and fish populations
worldwide. In the meanwhile, Oceans Asia has mentioned that illegal fishing in Hong
Kong has been observed almost daily. Simultaneously, in the Legislative Council in
February 3rd, 2021, there is a concern that illegal fishing would severely damages
fisheries resources and marine ecosystems within Hong Kong waters. Consequently, it is
of vital importance to combat these activities as soon as possible. Monitoring and
detecting fishing vessel activity are one of the most critical components of tackling illegal
fishing. The Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department (AFCD) in Hong Kong
has a dedicated enforcement team to patrol against these activities with the help of the
Automatic Identification System (AIS) data. Currently the limited surveillance resources
with manual AIS analysis cannot provide timely intelligence to AFCD for efficient patrol
planning. Therefore, developing an automated and smart AIS data analysis algorithm/
method is highly desirable.
The objective of the proposed project is to develop a machine learning based method to
automate AFCD's AIS data analysis process to (1) profile AIS data trajectory patterns
from vessels that has conducted illegal fishing activities in Hong Kong waters; and (2) to
identify suspicious vessels that may involve in such activities.
Project Coordinator: Dr Russell Siu Wai Yiu
Approved Funding Amount: HK$ 2.79 M
Project Period: 1 Mar 2023 - 29 Feb 2024
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