Today, with our publication in Science, we are releasing fishing effort data for 2012 to 2016. One of the ways we are releasing it is through Google’s Earth Engine. There is a bit of a steep learning curve on Earth Engine – you have to be able to code in JavaScript or Python. But once you learn the basics, it is an incredibly powerful way to explore geospatial data.

If you have not used Earth Engine, it is easy to sign up. Go to and click on sign up.

Here is an example of a script that loads one year of fishing into the map, and here’s a similar one that shows vessel presence. These scripts allow you to stylize the global map of fishing as you like, and export it as an image.

One of the powers of earth engine is the ability to compare sea surface temperature to fishing effort. Here is an example of a script that creates a video for an entire year, showing changes in sea surface temperature and the movements of drifting longlines. Below is an image created from this script.

You can also read more about Earth Engine and Global Fishing Watch on the Google Earth and Earth Engine Medium Blog.