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NOAA scientist lectures on VIIRS night light boat detection

Dr. Christopher Elvidge, physical scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), was the resource speaker during the seminar-workshop on Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Night Light Boat Detection. This is a Tool for Combatting Illegal Fishing and Protecting Marine Biodiversity. The activity was organized by the Institute of Fisheries Policy and Development Studies (IFPDS), College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, UP Visayas on September 18, 2017 at the Conference Room, Faculty Center, Umali Hall, CFOS, UPV Miagao campus.

VIIRS of NOAA is a satellite sensor that can detect fishing boats that employ lights to attract catch. The seminar-workshop primarily focused on the use of VIIRS in monitoring various activities in the Visayan Sea.

Elvidge has 20 years of experience with low light imaging data from the United States Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). He led the development of nighttime lights and global combustion source products processing from VIIRS data since 2012. Presently, he is the team leader for the United States National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) Earth Observation Group. The group is responsible in the DMSP archive, nighttime lights product development, and science collaborations.

Elvidge gave an overview on the VIIRS and its uses to fight illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and marine conservation on the Visayan Sea. The lecture was followed by a workshop that introduced the participants to data contents and formats generated by VIIRS and its applications. VIIRS is important in assessing effectiveness of fishery closures and in monitoring boat activities in restricted areas, particularly the marine protected areas (MPAs).

Data collected by VIIRS are essential for people working on fisheries management, enforcement, monitoring, and surveillance. These data have been used to examine the effectiveness of seasonal fishery closures in the Philippines as well as in an ad hoc fishery closure in Vietnam.

Faculty members, researchers, graduate students of the CFOS and representatives from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources(BFAR)-Western Visayas attended and participated in the event. (With sources from IFPDS)

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