LONDONIt’s another demonstration of the power of Big Data - of mining a huge batch of statistics to see patterns of behaviour that were simply not apparent before.Computers have crunched 22 billion identification messages transmitted by sea-going vessels to map fishing activity around the globe. The analysis reveals that more than 55% of the world’s oceans are now subject to industrial exploitation. By area, fishing’s footprint is now over four times that of agriculture.That’s an astonishing observation given that fisheries provide only 1.2% of global caloric production for human food consumption.The investigation shows clearly that the biggest influences on this activity are not environmental - whether it is summer or winter, or whether there is an El Niño or fish are migrating, for example.Rather, the major controlling factors are very largely political and cultural.“You’d think that fishing activity would follow some natural pulse of the seasons, but in fact that’s secondary to whether it’s a weekend or not, or whether there’s a moratorium, or a public holiday,” says David Kroodsma from Global Fishing Watch, which led the study published in Science Magazine. “Because fishing is an industrial activity tied to politics and culture, this is actually a positive message because it shows we have a lot of human agency in the way we fish the oceans, and it’s entirely within our power to change things,” he told BBC News. It’s another demonstration of the power of Big Data - of mining a huge batch of statistics to see patterns of behaviour that were simply not apparent before.  Computers have crunched 22 billion identification messages transmitted by sea-going vessels to map fishing activity around the globe.The analysis reveals that more than 55% of the world’s oceans are now subject to industrial exploitation.By area, fishing’s footprint is now over four times that of agriculture.That’s an astonishing observation given that fisheries provide only 1.2% of global caloric production for human food consumption.