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In this letter, polarization cross-entropy is introduced based on the eigendecomposition of the polarimetric coherence matrix. Then, the new parameter is employed for ship detection. From experimental results, it is derived that the distribution of the polarization cross-entropy in ocean regions can be well approximated by a generalized exponential distribution. Then, a constant-false-alarm-rate ship-detection method is proposed based on the distribution of the polarization cross-entropy. Using experimental results, the authors demonstrate the effectiveness of the new method in ship detection.