Restoring Bahamas' Seas: CBS Mornings Spotlights Skylight's Support

Through a mix of innovative partnerships and Skylight's AI, learn how the country is protecting its ocean life.

WildAid’s Gregg Casad shows CBS’ Ben Tracy how Skylight is being used in the Bahamas.

As the world celebrates Earth Day, a new CBS Mornings segment shines a spotlight on how our Skylight team is supporting organizations in the Bahamas in their efforts to restore the health of their seas.

In early April, CBS News’ Senior Environmental Correspondent, Ben Tracy, visited the Bahamas to explore Marine Protected Areas (MPAs): what they are, what role they play in keeping balance in our ocean, and how they can best be managed so that they are more than just lines on a map.

With more than 240,000 square miles of ocean to protect, The Bahamas stands as a striking illustration of the rewards of a nation’s steadfast dedication to safeguarding its precious marine resources. However, amid this vast expanse lies a formidable challenge. Experts estimate that one-third of all fish caught in Bahamian waters is believed to result from illegal, underreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices, posing significant threats to the country’s marine ecosystems, fisheries, local economy, and culture. Nevertheless, by employing a multi-prong approach to preserving its waters, The Bahamas has emerged as a leader in the Caribbean.

Alongside efforts to combat IUU fishing, The Bahamas has made substantial efforts to preserve its vibrant waters. The country boasts the first shark sanctuary in the Atlantic Ocean to ensure the future of over 40 shark species, including the critically endangered great hammerhead shark. Endangered species such as the hawksbill and green sea turtle find refuge thanks to stiff legislation prohibiting their harvesting, possession, purchase, and sale.

And through an innovative public-private partnership with WildAid Marine, The Nature Conservancy, and multiple Bahamian agencies, known as the Marine Action Partnership (MAP), the nation has bolstered its capabilities to combat illegal fishing, providing “teeth” to the areas that contain the seeds for a sustainable future–its MPAs. These concerted efforts are already yielding positive results: fishers are reporting a revitalization of fish stocks, while increased patrols are identifying and addressing illegal activities.

Behind-the-scenes shot of CBS interviewing Royal Bahamian Defence Force’s Senior Commander William Sturrup.

In particular, the segment examines how the Royal Bahamian Defence Force is harnessing Skylight’s state-of-the-art AI and analytics to quickly identify and respond to illicit fishing activities. From terabytes of satellite imagery to 100M AIS messages read daily, CBS’ story shows how the platform is empowering them with the intelligence they need to make a difference.

Visit CBS Mornings to watch the segment.