Persian Gulf Fisheries Underreport Catch Figures, Researchers Use Google Earth Images to Make a Case

fish weir
Google satellite image of a fish weir located on the coast of the Persian Gulf

We all know that technology consumes and surrounds us. Some may even say it is as though we are being watched. James A. Foley on Natural World News recently wrote an article addressing the issue of Persian Gulf Fisheries under reporting their catch numbers. How was this discovered? Scientists at the University of British Columbia recently became aware of Persian Gulf fisherman lying about their catch figures by using Google Satellite images which showed that six times as many fish were being caught in weirs than were being reported. Researchers believe that there were 1,900 fish weirs located along the coast of the Persian Gulf that caught approximated 25,000 metric tons more than was being reported.  Although this ancient fish practice may have been an easy way to catch a few extra (or a few million more) fish, new technology is making this nearly impossible.

-Emmie Van Wyhe

Published November 26, 2013

3 thoughts on “Persian Gulf Fisheries Underreport Catch Figures, Researchers Use Google Earth Images to Make a Case”

  1. Do you think they will start using google earth to monitor other fisheries? Do you think fishermen will be more cooperative with the rules knowing that they are being watched?

  2. Great question, Emily! I was thinking the same thing when I read through the article. In fact, I was so curious that I looked up other articles to see if this was occurring in other fisheries and it turned out that it is. An article from CBC News stated that some developing countries such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and Bahrain are under reporting as well, based on satellite images. It’s hard to tell if fisherman will start being more cooperative. It seems that this issue will only become more common as technology further increases and that, in turn, could cause fisherman to get busted for under reporting.

    1. I found this article really interesting. It remind me of another article i read recently.
      It was about Russians in the late 1948-79 not reporting all of the sprem whales they harvested in that time frame. Under reporting by over 20,000 whales. Pretty crazy. I was having a hard time finding it online but the title is “Soviet catches of whales in the North Pacific: revised totals” and the authors are Y.V. IVASHCHENKO1,2, P.J. CLAPHAM1 AND R.L. BROWNELL, JR.3

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