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Open Ocean Robotics IUU Fishing Mission Data
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Open Ocean Robotics’ uncrewed surface vehicle (USV) Data Xplorer conducted a 25-day mission in illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing enforcement in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.  The USV operated nonstop in challenging open ocean conditions, continuously monitoring with a suite of sensors for detecting, identifying, and tracking vessels and associated fishing activity.  The project is part of WILDAID's MPAbots program, a multi-organization initiative to advance, validate, and demonstrate use of robotic technologies to combat illegal fishing. 

Traditional open ocean surveillance uses fixed assets on shore, satellites, crewed ships or aircrafts. ​These assets are expensive, polluting, lack resolution, and require significant resources and personnel. Developing nations can rarely afford these solutions. 



  • The innovative use of small, mobile USV fleets ​

  • Scalable, improves functionality, significantly lowers costs, emissions and safety risks, and increases the quality of evidence gathered. 



Copy of IMG_6432.HEIC
Copy of IMG_6432.HEIC


  • 25-day continuous mission ​

  • Surveillance sensors​

  • Environmental data collection​

  • USV operated nonstop in challenging open ocean conditions, persistently monitoring with a suite of sensors for detecting, identifying, and tracking vessels and associated fishing activity. 


Environmental Monitoring

Sea Turtle

Underwater cameras​

Oceanographic sensors for temperature, turbidity, salinity, chlorophyll, and more​

Weather conditions including air temperature, wind speed & direction, barometric pressure

DataXplorer Environmental Monitoring Image

Visual Surveillance

DataXplorer Visual Surveillance

360 degree visual cameras and thermal camera for day and nighttime surveillance

AI driven edge computing for automatic vessel detection and identification

DataXplorer Visual Surveillance

AIS Detections

DataXplorer AIS Detections

Detections at up to 30km

Continuous Uninterrupted detections

Useful for detecting AIS and combatting AIS spoofing

DataXplorer AIS Detections

Continuous Operations

XplorerView Image

Nonstop operations in challenging open ocean conditions.

Continuously collecting data with cameras, hydrophones, and oceanographic sensors for illegal fishing detection and environmental monitoring

Operations map

Remote Piloting

Launching DataXplorer

USV piloted from Victoria BC.

Data sent in real-time to operators​

USV travels preprogrammed missions that can be modified to change the route, sensor sampling rate, and more.

XplorerView Image

Fusing Space & USV Data


USV Data Xplorer can collect detailed ocean information to compliment space data ​

Can identify vessels without AIS and validate AIS signatures to prevent spoofing​

In the future, USV can be queued to respond to space data 



  • Reliable & seaworthy for continuous operations​​

  • Near real time comms & detections, over the horizon​​

  • Images, acoustic signatures, and AIS detections provide vessel monitoring​​

  • Easy to use interface to operate USV and share information with enforcement agencies


Open Ocean Robotics' fleet of autonomous boats are designed to remotely patrol the ocean, collecting a variety of critical data. “Our goal is to help industries operate sustainably on the ocean,” Julie says. “What we can’t measure, we can’t protect. What we can’t see, we can’t change. If we don’t understand the impacts we’re having on our oceans, we’ll never change our behavior.”


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