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Fighting Illegal Fishing with Near Real-Time Data That Enables Enforcement
by Vulcan Inc., a Paul G. Allen Company (Private sector)
At any moment, thousands of illegal vessels are operating somewhere on our oceans. That makes detecting, deterring and detaining illegal fishing vessels incredibly difficult. The only way to stop these criminals is for governments and enforcement agencies to know, in near real-time, where they are and what they are doing.

Paul G. Allen, the cofounder of Microsoft, a technologist, and a philanthropist, and his team at Vulcan Inc. are developing technology that will advance the fight against illegal fishing on the worlds largest crime scene. We are focused on the targets as laid out in the Sustainable Development Goal 14.4.

To help address the problem of illegal fishing, Vulcan Inc. is building a detection system that uses data science, computer visualization, and machine learning to turn vast amounts of raw data into actionable, up-to-date information about illegal fishing activity that can enable enforcement.

Once fully developed, Vulcans technology will automatically analyze vessel tracking information, vessel records, and data streams from advanced resources including satellite imagery to let human experts more quickly and specifically identify suspected bad actors and potentially illicit activities. Vulcans system will generate reports and alerts for governments and enforcement bodies, who can then focus their enforcement resources where they can have the most impact.
Progress reports
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Compliance, monitoring and enforcement
  • Reduction and elimination fishing practices and gear that destroy/degrade marine habitat
System development
Staff / Technical expertise
Technical development, staff resources and financing
Basic information
Time-frame: 9/16 - 3/18
Vulcan, Inc
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Johan Bergenas, Senior Director, johanb@vulcan.com, 202-294-4444
Seattle, WA, USA
Other SDGs
United Nations