After drugs and arms trafficking, illegal fishing is the third most lucrative illegal activity in the world. It is estimated that around 26 million tons of fish and other marine resources are caught illegally every year to supply a black market worth up to $23 billion. Illegal fishing takes many forms, one of which involves fishing inside marine protected areas that have been created to safeguard the biodiversity within them. A team of journalists from Mongabay Latam, Cuestión Pública in Colombia, El Universo in Ecuador, and Ciper in Chile, with the advice of satellite-monitoring experts and scientists, analyzed the movement of boats within marine protected areas over a five-year period between 2015 and 2020. This research revealed illegal fishing in marine sanctuaries in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico. These four countries are among the top six in Latin America with the largest amount of protected marine territory, but the findings raise questions about whether they have the tools to control, monitor, and stop such illegal activities within their marine protected areas. What the images reveal The ability to track a boat’s movements in the ocean depends on whether it has a satellite device on board. The device “is essentially a box that is in connection with satellites in orbit,” says scientist Fabio Favoretto, a member of DataMares, a civil society organization that analyzes data on fishing in Mexico and that collaborated with Mongabay Latam in analyzing the information for this research. The device sends a signal every hour to a…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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