Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Satellite remote sensing has the capacity to aid the three major components of a fishery: research, management, and the fishing industry. An evaluation of the potential of satellite-derived data to the fishery is based upon six case studies which are presented as evidence of the capabilities of satellite-borne sensors. Peripheral applications pertaining to the marine environment and possible applications for the future are reviewed. Three basic categories of remote sensing programs related to the fishery are defined: one to test the applicability of the technology to the field of fisheries; another to employ the technology to fisheries research; and a third to provide remote sensing technology for commercial interests. Problems limiting the usage of remote sensing in fisheries are discussed. The possibilities of initiating a commercial venture to provide sea surface temperature charts to the fishing industry are explored; the foundation for such a venture at the present would be precarious. It was determined that the most successful contributors to remote sensing of fisheries were sea surface temperature and ocean color data. Data on sea surface wind activity is expected to be of great value, although initial studies were terminated with the early failure of the SEASAT-A mission. Temperature sensors and a scatterometer are included in future space programs; an ocean color imager is not. Until a full complement of relevant sensors is in orbit, the full potential of satellite remote sensing to the fishery cannot be realized. The factors governing deployment of an ocean color imager, and therefore limiting the potential of remote sensing, are of a political and economic nature. As a result, certain activities of import to fisheries are endangered, and many programs reliant upon ocean color data remain experimental.