Accurate reporting of fish catches by country is important for policymaking by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Countries have been found to be inflating or deflating the totals for various self-serving reasons. (Google Earth can be used to estimate farmed fish production.)
Overfishing of wild-caught seafood has led to an expansion of ocean fish farms, making them one of the fastest growing industries. Fish farming requires large amounts of fishmeal and fish oil, and can take a toll on small pelagic fish. These fish farms are visible by satellite imagery of Google Earth, which found 248 tuna cages within 10 km of shore. Most were off the shores of Greece and Turkey.
Other uses of satellite imagery include mapping, teaching geological science, finding new archeological sites, and studying coral reefs.
CONCLUSION: Google Earth is a new tool for discovering the location and number of fish cages to improve the accuracy of reporting to the FAO. Improved reporting should assist policymaking by that organization. The article includes satellite images of fish cages around the Mediterranean Sea.
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