Fishing Gear as a Data Collection Platform: Opportunities to Fill Spatial and Temporal Gaps in Operational Sub-Surface Observation Networks

Cooper Van Vranken*, Berthe M. J. Vastenhoud, James P. Manning, Kristian S. Plet-Hansen, Julie Jakoboski, Patrick Gorringe, Michela Martinelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

While the observation of the open ocean is well achieved by automated ocean measurement instruments, coastal and shelf seas suffer the lack of sub-surface collection platforms. Commercial fishing gear such as bottom trawls, pots, traps and long lines can act as platforms for sensors, which collect physical oceanographic data concurrently with normal fishing operations. The lack of observed in situ ocean data in coastal and shelf seas limits operational oceanography, weather forecasting, maritime industries, and climate change monitoring. In addition, using fishing gear as an ocean observation platform has auxiliary benefits for fisheries management including stakeholder involvement. This study quantifies and compares the existing sub-surface in situ data coverage with the spatial distribution of fishing activities. The results show that integration with fishing could contribute to filling some of the most pressing gaps in existing ocean observation systems in coastal and shelf seas. There are limitations related to opportunistic data collection, mainly related to spatial and temporal heterogeneity of fishing activities. However, we make the case that fishery-based observations have the potential to complement existing ocean observing systems in areas where oceanographic data are lacking and needed most in order to ensure long term sustainability of ocean monitoring.
Original languageEnglish
Article number485512
JournalFrontiers in Marine Science
Volume7
Number of pages1
ISSN2296-7745
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Ocean observation networks
  • Science-industry cooperationq
  • Data collection
  • Vessels of opportunity
  • Shelf seas
  • Oceanography
  • Fisheries
  • Data gaps

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