Robert Terry, SmartCatch

New fishing technologies that can help with by-catch reduction

  • Fishermen, consumers, governments – all want healthy fish stocks and seafood sustainability.
  • Demand for wild seafood is out-stripping supply – a lot of experts are predicting a trending decline in long-term health of wild seafood stocks.
  • Governments around the world are reacting. Countries are getting stricter about enforcement and counties that don’t now have quota systems are moving towards it.
  • The new US individual quota regulations are making it tough on fishermen. It is increasing more difficult for Fishermen to comply to stricter new Seafood Sustainability regulations.
  • Close to 20% a year of US fishing boats have gone out of business over the last few years. Can new technologies help to improve the chances for fishermen to comply with the new sustainability-focused compliance regulations and stay profitably in business?
  • Presented here is a brief survey of new by-catch reduction tools:
    • Non-real-time tools – record only cameras and sensors
    • Real-time monitors – real time and record;  video and sensors
  • Fishery quotas are set and determined primarily based on landed fish stock assessments and historical documentation. The amount of data available is inherently limited.
  • Fishermen can become data collectors and help in creating new sustainability guidelines. New technology can not only help fishermen to improve fisherman’s chances to adhere to new sustainability-focused regulations but also enable them to do a better job of getting in front of new quota policies.