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Indonesia’s Dynamite Deterrent to Fish Poaching

President Joko Widodo will risk angering his neighbors to protect his country’s fishing industry.

Screen shot from slideshow posted by Yanu ari, via YouTube

On December 5, 2014, a group of Indonesian officials and press stood looking out at three ships on the water. Each of the vessels was a Vietnamese fishing boat, captured operating in Indonesia’s waters illegally, cleared of its crew and impounded. Suddenly, they all blew up.

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Google’s Big Data Overfishing Project Flounders

Though the anemic system may only locate the most inept or accidental fishery abusers, it’s still a step in the right direction.

Illustration by Tyler Hoehne

Last month at the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, Google unveiled a project it bills as a groundbreaking leap in the use of cloud computing, big data, and satellite networks—all to stamp out overfishing. The program, Global Fishing Watch, launched in beta with the help of environmental outfits Oceana and SkyTruth, uses the signals from Automatic Identification Systems (emergency devices installed in all major ships) to plot the trajectory of every commercial fishing vessel on the ocean. If they can raise $3 to $5 million to launch a public program, Google hopes that this visualized, real-time data will empower citizens to monitor and track ships, reporting those working in protected waters or outside of their supposed zones of operation to authorities.

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How a 90-Year-Old World War II Veteran Explores His Past Through Fishing

Exploration isn’t just the physical journey, but also the mental one.


I am standing at Frankfurt International Airport in Terminal 2, scanning the arrivals board.

I’m a little nervous. I’m waiting for Frank Moore, his wife and son, and a film crew to walk out of customs and around the corner. Frank is 90 years old, a World War II veteran, a man of honor. He is coming to Europe to retrace his war days footsteps, but most importantly, to go fishing.

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How Feather Extensions Are Changing the Way Chickens Live (and Die)

Whether it’s Steven Tyler, Miley Cyrus, or sorority girls all across the country, demand for long "saddle feathers" is way, way up.

Almost 30 years ago, Tom Whiting got some eggs from Henry Hoffman, a chicken farmer and breeder in Oregon, who had been raising 2,500 chickens in his backyard. Hoffman was a fly fisherman who was breeding the birds for their feathers—the long, skinny, variegated feathers that fishermen use for tying into flies.

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Uncovering Fictitious and Fraudulent Fish with the Barcodes of Life

Could the DNA barcodes used to expose widespread fish fraud also become a shopper's best friend?


Argentine Roughy, Cherry Snapper, and Salmon Trout only exist at the fish market. They’re fictitious names for fish that don’t exist anywhere, except in the minds of unscrupulous fishmongers. "Grouper" sometimes gets sold as catfish. Gulf shrimp spawn, impossibly, in Thailand. Menhedan masquerade as "Pamplona Sardines in tomato Sauce." Importers traffic in "Leather Jacket Fillets" or "Freedom Cobbler."

Despite growing awareness about the origins of our food, we’re often served a completely different fish species than the ones we order. This comes with economic costs and often means that sustainable seafood you’re eating might not be so sustainable. Global "ichthyologic name-swapping" obfuscates the origins of fish, so contaminated or toxic food causing health problems often can't be traced to the source.

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Feast Your Eyes: Shark Fin Fishing in Japan

The brutal Japanese shark fin trade is exposed in this new video—and a San Francisco-based reporter taste tests the resulting soup.

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