There is a growing awareness that modern fishing methods such as trawls, seines and nets can be destructive to the marine environment and pose a real challenge to global fisheries along with climate change.
Bottom trawling destroys or damages seabed habitat.
Fish bycatch has a significant negative impact on the marine environment. According to theWorld Wildlife Foundation
, around 38 million metric tons of sea creatures are unintentionally caught each year, representing around 40 percent of worldwide catches. Most of this bycatch ends up dead.
Plastic waste generated from abandoned, lost fishing gear is a major source of marine pollution.
On the other hand, there has always been a desire to increase the efficiency of fishing and to lighten the hard work of fishermen.
Here are some stories about new smart fishing technologies and modern equipment, which help maintain fish populations and at the same time increase the efficiency of fishing.
UK company developing tools to make fishing more sustainable
A UK company – SafetyNet Technologies – has developed technology aimed at reducing bycatch. The flagship product,called Pisces, is designed to improve the selectivity of fishing gear. It uses coloured LED lights to attract the target species while deterring unwanted bycatch, helping fishing crews to save time sorting fish.
SafetyNet has also developed an affordable underwater camera and sensorthat attach to fishing gear and help fishing crews gather data. This allows them to increase efficiency, reduce bycatch, and measure the effects of climate change on fisheries.
At sea smart weighing system
Smart weighing technology is getting more popular, especially on large-sized fishing vessels.
The new technology is based on the use of motion-compensated weighing system at sea in order to directly measure and store raw weight of the catch.
The boats’ movement at sea does not allow determining the exact weight of the catch. At sea smart weighing system calculates the weight of catches while taking into account boats’ movement.
Some of these weighing systems integrate tracking systems in order to add traceability features, as well as to provide with reading and writing of information such as vessel ID, voyage, specie, weight, size, date of capture and presentation.
This technology makes it possible to better respect quotas and control fishing bans. Correlations can be drawn between fish catches and landing, limiting the risk of fraud.
Gentle trawl technology for shrimp
Bottom trawling destroys or damages seabed habitat and leads to unintentional catches. Despite development since the 1970s technologies that increase the selectivity of trawl systems, the bycatch rate has not been significantly reduced. For instance, for every kilogram of shrimp caught by trawling, there are more than 10 kilograms of bycatch, which can contain up to 400 species of marine fauna, including rare and endangered ones.
The RS-INP trawl system developed by the Mexican National Institute of Fisheries INAPESCA for the shrimp fishery became a breakthrough.
Trawl bags using this technology are made from a lighter material, which significantly reduces the weight of the fishing gear. The use of small hydrodynamic trawl doors in the design maximizes the spread of nets and greatly reduces disruption to the seabed.
The RS-INP system reduces the negative effect of the destruction of bottom ecosystems during shrimp fishing by 8 times and reduces the ratio of bycatch and catch by 20 to 50 percent. Fuel economy for each trip to the sea reaches 50 percent.
The cost of such a trawl is less than $200 thousand, with a payback period of three fishing seasons. This is acceptable for medium and some small fishing boats.
Take a chance on SEAFOOD EXPO EURASIA
Smart technologies alone cannot meet challenges that global fisheries are facing. In order to get them working, there is a clear need for professional evaluation of new technologies and dissemination of best fishing practices.
International seafood exhibitions play a significant role in achieving the goal.
SEAFOOD EXPO EURASIA is a new international seafood event, where an entire pavilion will be devoted to the exhibition of new innovative equipment and technologies for fisheries. Designers and manufacturers of state-of-the-art fishing equipment from around the world will showcase their products and share best practices for sustainable fishing.
Participants and visitors of the exhibition will have the opportunity to learn more about how to make fishing efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly.