Previously, the South Pacific region had issued a ban on fishing. Prior to the complete ban, according to the survey, the catch of the South Pacific Phoenix Islands protected area increased by 130%, reducing the expected effort to naturally rebuild fish stocks by 18 months.
The results of the survey were based on real-time satellite data on ship activities in the Phoenix Islands area and nearby control areas where there was no ban during the period from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2016. The closure took effect on January 1, 2015, after which the shipping model for fishing in protected areas was stopped.
"Fishing, like many extractive industries, is gone, absent-minded," McDermott said. “Now, thanks to satellite data, through remote sensing, we are able to gain unprecedented insights and gain insight into what is happening.”
The data provided by Global Fishing Watch comes from information collected by an automatic identification system (usually called AIS) for navigation security. After studying the data, the researchers saw common fishing methods such as trawling and longline fishing.
The Phoenix Islands Reserve is located in the Republic of Kiribati, a marine country between Australia and Hawaii. It is about the size of California and is one of the largest marine reserves in the world. The line is similar to the protected areas near the Gilbert Islands and the designated fishing areas, including salmon, yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna and albacore tuna.
McDermott said that these announced actions are to motivate people to rush to extract the profits they can get before they lose their source of closure.
"This research gives us a reason," McDermott said. “You basically start with a poor starting point. One possible solution is to reduce the time between the announcement or the planned phase of the reservation and the actual execution date. But it is difficult to balance. You need to buy various interests from you. This takes time."
The long-standing danger is that human responses may drive the ability to achieve goals – for example, storing a region's fishery resources at a critical point where policy objectives cannot be achieved.
McDermott said that the bigger research lesson is to consider combining social sciences and natural sciences when formulating protection policies. He said that the accounting of human behavior may be as important as understanding the ecological basis to ensure its efficacy.