Date of Award

Fall 12-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Computer Science


Computer Science

Major Professor

Abdelguerfi, Mahdi

Second Advisor

Tu, Shengru

Third Advisor

Soniat, Thomas


The satellite communications system called the Vessel Management System was used to provide geospatial data on oyster fishing over the nearly 1.7 million acres of the public water bottoms in Louisiana. An algorithm to analyze the data was developed in order to model vessel behaviors including docked, gearing, fishing and traveling. Vessel speeds were calculated via the Haversine formula at small and large intervals and compared to derive a measure of linearity. The algorithm was implemented into software using Python and inserted into a PostgreSQL database supporting geospatial information. Queries were developed to obtain reports on vessel activities and daily effort expended per behavior. ArcGIS was used to display and interpret the patterns produced by the vessel activity, yielding information about fishing activity clusters and effort which implied the location and productiveness of oyster reefs.


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