Technology can help hunters make better use of their time

Technology can help hunters make better use of their time

This is a discussion post. Expresses the writer’s position.

“When I report a catch, it’s just a tip,” skipper and owner Remy Hatland tells Fiskeribladet on December 7, 2023. The frustration is palpable – similar statements were also expressed in Tromsø on Tuesday 12 December when 20 fishermen turned up when Sentif and The Fisheries Directorate invited them to attend a workshop. The topic was automatic catch recording in all fisheries, developed through the EU project “EveryFish”.

The challenge facing fishermen today is that they have to report to authorities based on tax returns and manual registration.

Proceedings authors: Rachel Taylor, Senior Researcher Sintef Ocean, Department of Fisheries and the New Marine Bioindustry, Ina Helene Ahlquist, MSc, Sintef Ocean, Hanne Hjelle Hatlebrekke, MSc, Sintef Ocean, Ole Høstmark, Fishing Program Coordinator. Identity Programme, Fisheries Directorate. Photo: Press photo

Although reporting solutions are primarily electronic, information is typically recorded manually – which can be time consuming and frustrating.

In addition, it is weak and affects the legal certainty of fishermen, especially when their weight estimate does not correspond to the weight upon delivery. Hence it is often the fishermen who get the fine, either for reasons beyond their control or simply because they guessed wrong.

Feeling suspicious

This frustration was evident during the workshop held on December 12.

It was clear that the fishermen who participated in the meeting were under suspicion. They felt constantly monitored. And it is unfair that in their opinion they are always the main suspects.

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There were not necessarily cheers and applause from fishermen during the workshop when researchers spoke enthusiastically about developing automatic catch recording. Camera technology. artificial intelligence. How important is collecting data from the sea?

But this is exactly why holding a workshop is so important. Because without fishermen participating and making contributions to the topic, it is researchers, technology developers and management who come up with what they (read: we) consider to be smart solutions.

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They do not necessarily correspond to the issues that those working in the field immediately see.

What if it doesn’t work?

Examples of this that were raised in the workshop include what must be clarified in advance in the event of a technology failure.

What happens if, for various reasons, there is a discrepancy between the automatically recorded catch and the actual catch at weighing? Or if the technology doesn’t work, who bears responsibility and how do we solve it?

One approach addressed in the workshop was the need to work on establishing processes to deal with the different situations in which systems may fail. Whether there is a need for an operations center on land or an organization that can exonerate the fisherman in the event of a system failure at sea. These processes were something participants expressed a desire to help shape.

Better use of time

Automated catch recording can contribute to a fully automated documentation system that can automate the task of catch reporting.

This means that it replaces the existing system – not an addition!

This can directly contribute to enabling fishermen to make better use of their time. The composition of the catch from each fishing effort is automatically analyzed as it comes through the line – whether on board a fishing vessel in the Barents Sea or on an inshore fishing boat from Syngahub.

This is technology that can identify species and size (length and weight), automatically linking them to time and place, fishing gear and other relevant parameters. And if necessary, if the consumer in Italy wants it, provide an image of the fisherman on the label, as was ironically pointed out during the workshop.

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under development

In order to be able to demonstrate this true traceability across the value chain, increasing demands are being placed on technological installations on board fishing vessels – such as accurate automated recording of catches.

Solutions are being developed and could create a competitive advantage in various markets with increased traceability, while at the same time we can gather important ecosystem knowledge and contribute to a more efficient use of time for fishers on board.

There is still a lot of work needed to improve these solutions. It must take into account differences in fisheries, vessel size and mode of operation. Every boat is different and needs different solutions.

This is why we must meet

But if fishermen don’t tell scientists and technology developers what is needed, we will never be able to implement a successful automatic catch recording system.

That’s why it’s so important that we come together, with the fisheries industry, research and management, to talk about this very matter. Don’t wait for it to “get this stuck in your head.” Join the development while it’s happening – because there’s no doubt this is coming.

Because it will not succeed without the participation of fishermen!

In March, the FangstID conference will be held in Tromsø. We know – it’s in the middle of ice fishing – but if you’re on the ground 19.-20. March 2024 Come and tell researchers, technology developers and management from all over Europe what it takes for this to work in your operation – whether it is an open or closed set, small or large vessels, a herring or pollack fishery – join in the conversation!

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Merry Christmas – and if you want to join, hang in there!

Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

"Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst."

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