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    Illegal Fishing Traps Spotted by Google Earth

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    Geo Beats

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    Satellite images from the website Google Earth have shown unreported fish traps in the Persian Gulf that experts estimate are catching six times more fish than official reports have claimed.

    Satellite images from the website Google Earth have shown unreported fish traps in the Persian Gulf that experts estimate are catching six times more fish than official reports have claimed.

    The fishing traps, known as weirs are put close to the shore so that fish are caught by them as the tide comes in.

    This is a problem, because the trapping area is preferred by younger fish that haven’t spawned yet making them most likely to be the ones caught.

    Fisheries are the second biggest resource in the Persian Gulf after oil, so protecting the future of the industry is an important issue for the region.

    Researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver collected data on fisheries using the satellite images from Google Earth to create the “first example of fisheries catch estimates from space.”

    Although official estimates say that only one percent of Persian Gulf fish are caught in weirs, the researchers estimate that number to be closer to 10 percent, which would have a much larger impact on the fish populations in the area.

    Data from the study might be used to revise statistics about fish catching in the Persian Gulf and help influence resource management and conservation efforts.