Do you want to report on the ocean but don’t know where to start? From climate impacts, to fisheries, deep-sea mining and pollution, there are many sources of stories and data. As we launch the new Ocean Reporting Network fellowship, we have prepared an Ocean Reporting Toolkit that you may find useful to support your work. As well as the fellowship scheme, we are also supporting individual story grants for “deep dives” into the challenges facing our ocean.
The information is sorted by themes of interest.
1. Satellite Imagery
- Global Fishing Watch - Uses satellite imagery to detect fishing activities. It also has a special feature for monitoring marine reserves. Pin vessels to track their movements and view historical transmissions.
- EO Browser - To find images from Landsat to Sentinel. The best images for Earth Observation are Sentinel II and Sentinel III.
- Orbital EOS - This platform allows you to track oil spills in the ocean.
- Visualization tools | CMEMS - Online marine data visualization platform.
- Sea ice products | OSI SAF - Sea ice data.
2. Vessel Ownership and Tracking
- Equasis - A free account allows you to see which company owns a boat.
- FleetMon - With over half a million vessel photos provided by more than 800 active photographers around the globe, FleetMon is one of the world’s largest shipping photography communities.
- VesselFinder - A free AIS vessel-tracking web site. Displays real-time ship positions and marine traffic detected by global AIS network.
- ShipFinder - Using AIS watch boats, cruise ships and other vessels across the world.
- MarineTraffic - Receive updates on the movements of vessels and fleets in areas or ports relevant to you.
- MyShipTracking - A free real-time AIS vessel-finder tracking service.
- VesselTracker - A leading provider of global AIS vessel movements and maritime information services.
- AISHub - Central hub for raw NMEA AIS data sharing.
*AIS stands for Automatic Identification System.
3. Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing (IUU Fishing)
- Combined IUU Vessel list - Up-to-date information on all fishing and related vessels that appear on the illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing vessel lists.
- Carrier Vessel Portal - Tracks ship movement from Global Fishing Watch.
- Fish-I Africa - Intergovernmental initiative to track fishing in East Africa.
4. Money Trails and Supply Chains
- ResourceContracts - Repository of publicly available oil, gas, and mining contracts in machine-readable, searchable, open data format.
- FAOstat - Data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
- OpenCorporates - Collection of company records and information from all over the world.
- ENCORE - Select from a sector or sub-industry (based on the Global Industry Classification Standard) to explore dependencies and impacts on natural capital.
5. Deep Sea Mining
- The Deep Sea Mining Summit 2023 - Annual summit of the deep sea industry. Website shows their plans.
- International Seabed Authority - UN body responsible for regulating deep sea mining
- CITES Checklist of Species - Great database of all species banned in international trade.
- EDGAR - The Security Exchanges Commission in the U.S. keeps a database of all filings about companies.
- PACER - A database of all federal court filings in the U.S. Needs an account and pay per file.
- Court Listener/ RECAP - If you have a PACER account, this add-on shows you which files have already been downloaded by RECAP members and are accessible for free.
There are both free and paid academic journals and databases available. Here, we will list the free ressources.
- Sci-Hub - Free access to 85 million scientific papers
- Ocean Science Journal - Research articles, short communications, and review papers on all aspects of ocean science.
- Ocean and Coastal Law Journal - Dedicated to facilitating discourse on legal issues related to domestic and international use of the sea and seashores.
- ICES Journal of Marine Science - Oxford Academic - Peer-reviewed scientific journal covering oceanography and marine biology.
There are also some research groups and think tanks such as:
- Ocean Conservation Trust
- Ocean Frontier Institute
- Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- Proteus Ocean Group
8. Reporting Guides
- A Journalist's Guide to Reporting on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing from the Earth Journalism Network
- A guide for open data journalists on tracking illegal fishing from Techjournalist on Medium
- How AI is tracking illegal fishing vessels on the high seas from TechMonitor
- How Illegal Fishing Is Being Tracked From Space from National Geographic
Some of the strongest examples of Pulitzer Center-supported ocean reporting from the past several years include:
- "Fights Over Illegal Fishing Lead to Armed Conflict, Deaths" | Helen Wieffering
- Into the Ice | Hal Bernton
- "Cameroon Becomes a Go-To Country for Foreign Fishing Vessels" | Grace Ekpu and Richa Syal
- How the Global Recycling System Collapsed | Sebastian Meyer and Vivienne Walt
- Changing Tides | Jack Igelman
- The Last Wild Kings: A World Without Salmon? | Zachariah Hughes
- Climate Change's Role in the Strandings of Gray Whales | Daniel Wolfe
If you have questions or would like to recommend unlisted tools that facilitate ocean reporting, please feel free to contact Fernanda at [email protected]