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Tracking sanctions-busting ‘ghost ships’ on the high seas

Courtesy: BBC
By Chris Baraniuk
Technology of Business reporter
1 February 2019

For a long time, being out at sea meant being out of sight and out of reach.

And all kinds of shenanigans went on as a result – countries secretly selling oil and other goods to countries they’re not supposed to under international sanctions rules, for example, not to mention piracy and kidnapping.

The problem is that captains can easily switch off the current way of tracking ships, called the Automatic Identification System (AIS), turning their vessels into “ghost ships”.

But now thousands of surveillance satellites have been launched into space, and artificial intelligence (AI) is being applied to the images they take.

There’s no longer anywhere to hide – even for ghost ships.

Samir Madani, co-founder of TankerTrackers.com, says his firm’s satellite imagery analysis has identified Iranian tankers moving in and out of port, despite US sanctions restricting much of the country’s oil exports.

He’s watched North Korea – which is limited by international rules to 500,000 barrels of refined oil every year – taking delivery of fuel via ship-to-ship transfers on the open ocean.

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Automatic Identification System data reveals increasing cargo demand in 2018

Courtesy: Mundo Maritimo
January 24, 2019
AXS Marine analyzes dry bulk shipping market

“In 2018, the dry bulk fleet comprised of 11,137 vessels performed a total of 92,733 voyages and transported 6.1 billion tons of cargo. The average ship carried therefore 65,786 metric tons per voyage and performed an average of 8.3 trips per year at an average ballast speed of 11.60 knots and even lower average laden speed of 11.05 knots,” reads the latest Alphabulk analysis –in exclusive alliance with MundoMaritimo- revealing the data provided by the Automatic Identification System (AIS).
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MOL Tests Simulation System to Boost Vessel Safety

Courtesy: Port Technology
02 Jan 2019 04.26pm

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has announced a joint venture, between MOL Techno-Trade, the National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI), and Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, to study navigation support systems.
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Estimating vessel payloads in bulk shipping using AIS data

Authors: Haiying Jia; Vishnu Prakash; Tristan Smith

International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics > 2019 Vol.11 No.1

Addresses: Centre for Applied Research, Norwegian School of Economics, Helleveien 30, 5045 Bergen, Norway ‘ UCL Energy Institute, University College of London, Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0NN, UK ‘ UCL Energy Institute, University College of London, Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0NN, UK

Abstract: The cargo payload of a merchant vessel is a crucial variable in calculating revenue for a particular voyage and estimating global trade flows for key commodities. However, due to the opaque nature of the industry, payload information is usually not publicly available. This research utilises, for the first time, vessel draught information reported by the automatic identification system (AIS) to estimate vessel payloads. The applicability and reliability of draught measurements from AIS captured via satellites and terrestrial receivers are addressed in the process of identifying the most efficacious way to estimate vessel payloads. Continue reading Estimating vessel payloads in bulk shipping using AIS data

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AIS Problems Revealed in East China Sea

December 27, 2018 by Laura Kovary

Photo credit: Shutterstock/High Voltage

There are limitations with equipment which precipitate this issue; however, the major concern is with the lack of international laws to prohibit the use of AIS transponders. The IMO needs to take a stand on this issue and prohibit the use of AIS on anything other than a vessel. One solution could be designating AIS symbols for vessels and others for fishing nets, buoys, and other gear such as long lines, hydrographic survey or dredge equipment. This would allow the prudent mariner to differentiate between ships and other floating gear allowing for a reasonable assessment of a close quarters situation.

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exactEarth AIS Payload on the PAZ Radar Satellite is Now Live

PRESS RELEASE PR Newswire
Dec. 7, 2018, 02:00 AM
Represents the first commercial and fully-operational AIS payload onboard a radar satellite

CAMBRIDGE, ON, Dec. 7, 2018 /CNW/ – exactEarth Ltd. (“exactEarth” or the “Company”) (TSX:XCT), a leading provider of satellite Automatic Identification System (“AIS”) data services announces that its advanced AIS payload onboard the Spanish radar satellite, PAZ, has completed its commissioning phase and is now fully-operational. The PAZ satellite is owned and operated by Hisdesat Servicios Estrategicos S.A. and hosts an AIS payload owned by exactEarth, which is the first commercial AIS payload to be in operation onboard a radar satellite.

exactEarth Ltd. (CNW Group/exactEarth Ltd.)
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Airbus Locates Maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire IX

airbus-banque-populaire

The high-resolution image which showed the capsized vessel.

Airbus’ Ocean Finder service located the maxi-trimaran ‘Banque Populaire IX’ (Ultime class) in less than a day after it capsized halfway between Portugal and the Azores on 6 November during the latest Route du Rhum transatlantic race.

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Vessel Density Map

Vessel density map: and so it begins!

Courtesy: EMODnet Human Activities

Vessel density map

In June we left you with a promise: we’d make a vessel density map of EU waters and we’d share it on our portal for you to view and download. In the meantime, several things have happened. A meeting took place in Brussels in September and the discussion ensued enabled us to better define the requirements that the maps should have to be as useful as possible to the maritime community.
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AIS Market by 2022 Analysis

Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) Market by 2022 Analysis Including Dynamics, Share, Growth Rate, Opportunities and Trends.
Courtesy: World Money News
November 25, 2018 | by Sambit |

ais targets

The Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) market report forecast 2017-2022 is a professional and detailed study on the present state also focuses on the major drivers, Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) business strategists and effective growth for the key players. Global Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) Industry also provides granular analysis of the Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) market dynamics, share, segmentation, revenue forecasts and facilitate better decision-making.
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Building a Global Database of Fishing Vessels

A who’s who for the oceans: building a global database of fishing vessels.

Courtesy: Global Fishing Watch
By David Kroodsma| November 8th, 2018|Data and technology, Map

building global database fishing vessels

Our groundbreaking online map tracks the movements of commercial fishing vessels all over the world. As part of our ambition to reveal and analyse the fishing activity responsible for the majority of the world’s marine catch, we’re constantly working to improve the quality of the data behind the dots. Here, Data Scientist Jaeyoon Park takes us on a journey into the heart of Global Fishing Watch’s rapidly evolving fishing vessel database.
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