Marine Services FAQs
Do the recommendations on my Fish Finding Map guarantee
that I will find fish?
The satellites do not see the fish directly, but they do provide observations of
the habitat, thus permitting indirect interpretation of the fish’s environment.
Indirect signs related to fish distribution (food, birds, dolphins, current patterns,
Sea Surface Temperature [SST], etc.) have been used by fishermen for centuries,
but not until recently could information on large areas around the vessel be observed.
Even though SeaStarSM Fish Finding Maps (FFMs) provide observations
on favorable conditions for concentrating fish, it is possible that in some cases
no fish will be found. However, the probability is greater that more fish will be
found in favorable conditions than in unfavorable conditions. Clearly, satellite-derived
observations must be integrated with a fisherman’s expertise, along with such information
as RADAR, SONAR, radio reports from other vessels, prevailing winds, currents, weather,
and sea-state observations, etc.
How old is the data I receive in my Fish Finding Map?
In order to measure plankton concentration, our OrbView®-2
satellite must take images at 12:00 noon local time. Then, these images are sent
to our Dulles, Virginia, USA, headquarters for processing. In general, Fish Finding
Maps (FFMs) are sent to vessels approximately 18 to 24 hours after data collection.
It is important to remember that the tuna do not eat the plankton directly; therefore,
daily changes in phytoplankton are not as important as more constant oceanographic
conditions shown in the FFMs.
Should the Sea Surface Temperature Contours shown on
the Fish Finding Map match exactly what I measure out at sea?
No. The goal of the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Contours is to present the patterns
of relative change. Although values on the SST Contours are the most accurate available,
the objective is to show the changes over the entire area, not what the exact SST
might be. Satellite-derived measurements of SST are affected by winds and atmospheric
water-vapor content. Thus, they may not correspond with point measurements taken
from the vessel. Without satellites, it is impossible to measure the SST for hundreds
of kilometers around the vessel.
Should I be able to observe the differences in water
color seen on the Fish Finding Map?
Not necessarily. The OrbView-2 satellite is capable of "seeing" six different colors,
whereas the human eye can only respond to three basic colors. Thus, the satellite
"sees" more subtle color differences than the human eye can. By using digital processing
techniques, it is possible to classify these colors in the Fish Finding Maps (FFMs).
Four colors are used to distinguish between water types based on actual concentrations
of phytoplankton. The colors on the FFMs do not signify that the ocean will appear
a particular color, but that the ocean contains a particular amount of plankton.
The Fish Finding Map shows my area as cloudy, but the
sky appears clear.
It is possible that this might happen due to a particular set of atmospheric conditions
and to the sensitivity of the sensor on the OrbView-2 satellite. The sensor is highly
perceptive, and it is designed to distinguish minute color differences. Factors
such as haze, thin clouds, water vapor, or even high humidity can interfere with
the imagery. To resolve this problem, various tests are conducted on the satellite
data, and when such atmospheric conditions are present, the computer reports this
excess water vapor as an area that is cloudy. This conservative approach helps us
avoid incorrectly displaying atmospheric effects as areas of increased phytoplankton
Where can I get help in understanding the Fish Finding
Maps, and can I recommend changes and enhancements to the format, recommendation
style, or service?
DigitalGlobe’s staff of oceanographers and fisheries biologists are more than happy to
assist you in using your Fish Finding Maps (FFMs) and to better understand the relationship
between fish behavior, the environment, and your particular fishing experience and
fishing strategy. We welcome, and in fact encourage, all suggestions! We use customer
feedback to evaluate how effective the service is and to continually improve the
recommendations as well as the FFM format. In addition, we can analyze your fishing
results to show how you can benefit even more from using the FFMs.
I have recently upgraded to OrbMap v6.2, but I am not
receiving my weather any more. What did I do wrong?
OrbMap versions 6.2 and higher have a completely new weather product. To receive
the new and improved weather products, you must submit a new weather order to email@example.com
as soon as you upgrade. If you need weather urgently, please place an order for
a “one time immediate delivery” in addition to a standing order. The one time immediate
weather delivery will be sent to you shortly after your order is placed.
I would like to receive data for two different weather
regions at one time. How do I do that?
Only one weather region can be ordered for regular delivery (set as a standing order)
at one time. To receive a second weather region, you can place an “Immediate Order”
and receive the data as a one-time delivery. This immediate order will not change
the standing order.