Archipelago Marine Research have developed a new sensor-based approach to monitor fishing activity. The company is working alongside the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), and have outfitted a Spanish tuna fishing vessel. The video-based electronic monitoring system uses an array of sensors to monitor key fishing gear, and trigger the video cameras when it detects fishing activity.
A central control center manages the system and logs the data, along with vessel location, speed, and heading information provided by the system’s GPS receiver. The system delivers hourly updates via satellite throughout the trip, and when the vessel returns to port any portion of the logged data can be reviewed.
This new level of on-vessel monitoring helps to deal with depleted fishing stock, and places a monitor where human observers aren’t a practical option. PEVASA, a Spain-based company with a commitment to full observer coverage of its fleet, volunteered the purse seiner for the project. Archipelago is a Canada-based company that has pioneered a number of electronic monitoring systems for the fishing industry to promote more sustainable resource management practices. Based on feedback from this project, the sytem will be fine tuned for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of tuna stocks, reducing bycatch and promoting ecosystem health.