Automatic Identification System (AIS)
The Automatic Identification System or AIS is an aid to navigation for vessels at sea. It uses VHF radio to transmit digital information about vessels so that they can see and be seen.
The map below shows what shipping is in the Minch in near real time. The feed is taken from Marine Traffic who get their data from people who have a shore based AIS receiver that is connected to the internet to upload the data to Marine Traffic.
Just click on one of the ships to see what it is and most have photographs attached.