Real-time camera observation in the trawl fisheries (Technofish): Final report

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The project transfers and industrially matures a real-time cable-based camera system, developed in the EU H2020 SmartFish project in collaboration with Atlas Maridan on DTU Aqua's research vessel. During the fishing process itself, the camera system can qualitatively show which species and sizes enter the gear in real time via a cable directly to the wheelhouse. The camera can also be moved around to monitor how the gear geometry, implementation of selective devices or other areas of special interest. The technology thus transforms trawl fishing from a blind process to an informed process where the individual fisherman can react during the actual catching process. The system enables the individual fisherman to limit his efforts, with associated environmental impact and fuel consumption in areas where the catch composition is optimal. At the same time, fishing activity is avoided in areas where efficiency is low or where the bycatch profile is not favourable. The technology transferred in the project will form the basis for the next generation of more intelligent fishing gears. These will make greater use of available new technology to ensure the best possible size and species selection as well as detailed documentation of the capture process itself. The established monitoring platform enables the development of more active fishing gears with which you can react to what you see in the gear and thus directly select catch components on and off in the fishing process. The camera system has been successfully transferred to commercial fishing vessels achieving an operational level and an optimized on-board handling and system integration so that the system can be used routinely during commercial fishing.

The background of the project
The joint fisheries policy focuses on increased sustainability in fishing and on stopping the discarding of fish by implementing a landing obligation. This ensures that catches of regulated species, including juvenile individuals, are deducted from the vessel's quota and the landing obligation thus directly links the selectivity of the fishery with its economy. A fisherman who can more purposefully catch the species and sizes he is after thus has a clear financial advantage. The new common fisheries policy thus changes the conditions for optimizing both biological and economic sustainability in fishing and the business model for the sector itself. This is an ambitious objective, and it is therefore absolutely crucial that the fishing sector is provided with some strong decision-making tools that have a sufficiently high resolution to ensure a successful implementation of the common fisheries policy, especially in relation to the landing obligation. Opportunities to follow the capture process in real-time, as well as being able to react to the information, ensure such a decision-making tool. The real-time information flow is crucial in this context. Camera systems that do not provide real-time documentation of the process will not provide the opportunity to change the catch composition during fishing. A functioning real-time monitoring system will not only contribute to more sustainable fishing and greater value creation in the fishing sector itself. In the long term, the system will also be able to establish detailed documentation of the individual fishing operation, and thus support a price optimization of the product out in the market for fishery products in Denmark, just as there are many examples of this in agriculture.

The purpose of the project
The purpose of the project is to transfer and commercially test and mature an innovative real-time trawl camera on board two Danish fishing vessels. The system will enable the individual fisherman to observe, assess and, if appropriate, actively react to the fishing process. A reaction can, e.g., be to interrupt fishing and seek alternative fishing depth or space. The project will transfer scientifically developed technology and operationally mature this to fishing vessels that fish with trawls. Specifically, a real-time trawl camera system is transferred on board two different fishing vessels, a vessel that fishes Norway lobsters and fish in the Skagerrak and a vessel that fishes shrimp in the Skagerrak and the North Sea. The purpose of transferring state-of-the-art catch monitoring technology to commercial fishing vessels is to make fishing with trawls a more intelligent process where decisions can be made more actively and on a significantly better basis regarding fishing practice that can ensure an economic and ecological more sustainable fishing.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHirtshals, Denmark
PublisherDTU Aqua
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-7481-351-4
Publication statusPublished - 2023
SeriesDTU Aqua-rapport


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