exactEarth Ltd. has signed an agreement with MDA to provide advanced Satellite-AIS data services as part of MDA’s recently announced Dark Vessel Detection (“DVD”) program for the Government of Canada. The DVD program is intended to detect and identify vessels that have switched off their AIS transponders and are engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated (“IUU”) fishing.
IUU fishing is a global problem that results in significant economic loss – estimated at $23 billion per year by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada – and leads to considerable damage to the world’s fishing population and habitat.
exactEarth is part of the MDA-led project that is supporting the Government of Canada’s commitment to help deter IUU fishing by using satellite technology to locate so-called “dark targets”, those whose AIS transponders have been switched off. Under the terms of its agreement with MDA, exactEarth will provide advanced global Satellite-AIS data services to support pilot trials of the DVD program.
“exactEarth has been working with the global fisheries community for the last ten years and we are very pleased to expand our relationship with MDA and to be a part of this leading-edge project to help the Government of Canada in its important fight against IUU,” said Peter Mabson, President and CEO of exactEarth. “IUU is a global issue and exactEarth’s advanced Satellite-AIS and small vessel tracking capabilities provide an important and comprehensive real time information source in helping to detect and locate vessels that may be engaged in this type of illegal behaviour.”
“MDA is pleased to play a critical role in helping the Government of Canada assert its leadership position in the prevention of IUU,” said Minda Suchan, VP of Geointelligence, MDA. “Combining exactEarth’s industry-leading Satellite-AIS data with imaging from satellites like RADARSAT-2 is an important part in identifying dark targets and tackling this global challenge. Thanks to the Government of Canada and our partners, these types of vessels are going to have much more difficulty avoiding detection in the future.”