Google Earth can be a powerful tool to keep tabs on a growing industry like ocean fish farming, given its tendency to exploit scarce resources and climate change, a study reveals.
The study, led by researcher Pablo Trujillo and his team from the University of British Columbia, used Google Earth satellite images of the Mediterranean to identify sites and sizes of fish farms.
They examined 91 percent of the Mediterranean coast and counted over 21,000 fish cages, the majority of which were off the coast of Greece and Turkey, the journal Public Library of Science ONE reported.
They were then able to estimate the total amount of ocean fish farmed in a given year, a university statement said.
Though they found some discrepancies within individual countries, their overall calculations were in agreement with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reports.