December 14, 2018
At the recently concluded Our Ocean conference in Bali, Indonesia, President Remengesau Jr. of Palau announced the next phase in an important partnership between Palau and Vulcan Inc. Teaming up with Oceans5, Palau will use Vulcan’s Skylight maritime information technology to shine a light on dark vessels threatening Palau’s exclusive economic zone.
Palau has committed to creating the largest National Marine Sanctuary in the world, eliminating fishing in 80 percent of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by 2020. In order to regularly surveil such a vast protected area, Palau has turned to Skylight to monitor their waters from space and provide information to their assets on the water.
In announcing the partnership at the Our Ocean Conference President Remengesau Jr. said: “Skylight is essential as my government works to secure our waters from those who would attempt to steal from our citizens and damage our beautiful natural heritage…let this be a warning to all who enter Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone illegally. We are watching. This is a new era.”
Within the first twenty days of the partnership, Skylight detected vessels that had suspiciously turned off their location devices and were operating in or just outside Palau’s EEZ. Skylight also detected a cluster of dark vessels, and in the area surveilled near Palau’s southern border found that 84 percent of vessels were not transmitting their automatic identification system (AIS) signals.
Vulcan’s Skylight technology uses machine learning, big data analytics, and satellite technology to discover suspicious activity, particularly rendezvous and “dark vessels” at sea, and provide actionable information to customers.
Bill Hilf, CEO of Vulcan, said, “Vulcan is proud to stand side-by-side with the world’s greatest ocean leaders. This is just the beginning of the impact that we hope to deliver to Palau as they work towards their 2020 marine protected area goal and to other large ocean nations around the world.”