The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Environment Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) provides synthetic aperture radar (SAR) derived products under a demonstration project named the Alaska SAR Demonstration (AKDEMO) to the US government community. The AKDEMO near real-time data and products include SAR wind images and vectors, hard target locations, and ancillary data. The hard target locations are available for use in fishery management by agencies such as the Alaska Department of Fish and Games (ADF&G), the National Marine Fisheries Service ( NMFS) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG). Vessel positions are obtained form hard target signatures through the use of a constant false alarm rate (CFAR) vessel detection algorithm developed by Veridian Systems Division. This algorithm has gone through testing and validation, using fleet information and vessel observer reports, during the Red King Crab fisheries in Alaska in 1999 and 2000. The goal was to maximize the number of ships found while minimizing the number or false alarms. Using general fleet location information, it was found that the minimum vessel size detected by the CFAR algorithm was 36 m using RADARSAT-1 ScanSAR wide mode data with a nominal spatial resolution of 100 m. Still, when comparing the CFAR results with the actual positions reported by the ship observers, vessels over 36 m were not always detected. This led to the hypothesis that the heading and perhaps wind conditions may have affected the ability of the SAR to detect the vessels. In 2001, vessel observers again reported their positions during SAR overpasses, this time also reporting heading and wind conditions. Unfortunately, due to high winds and waves, SAR was not able to detect the fishing fleet. In 2002, this was repeated, resulting in 3 days during the fishery opening when RADARSAT-1 was able to image the fishing fleet in the ScanSAR wide B mode. Approximately twenty ships each day in the a rea covered by the RADARSAT-1 data reported their position and heading. Results showing the dependence between RADARSAT-1 vessel detection and vessel heading are presented using the GIS platform.