Use technology to communicate near real-time catch information to fishers to enable avoidance of unwanted catchicate near real-time catch information to fishers to enable avoidance of unwanted catch
Overall effectiveness category Awaiting assessment
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Fleet communication systems in commercial fisheries report near real-time observations of hotspots of unwanted species to enable a fishery to operate in a coordinated way to reduce the capture of those species across the fleet (Gilman et al. 2006). They utilise various forms of technology for effective communication; from email via satellite-based vessel monitoring systems and other satellite-based systems, to radio and phone. A combination of these technologies may also be used for communication between vessels and to transmit information to a designated hub. Using technology to communicate near real-time catch information may reduce the catches of protected species and other unwanted fish by facilitating avoidance across cooperating vessels.
Gilman E.L., Dalzell P. & Martin S. (2006) Fleet communication to abate fisheries bycatch. Marine Policy, 30, 360–366.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A review in 2013 of three areas (bottom and midwater) in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans (O'Keefe et al. 2014) reported that programmes that used technology to provide near real-time catch information to fishers resulted in reduced unwanted catch or discards in two of three cases compared to no use of real-time technology. For fish, fleet communication programmes were evaluated as having reduced unwanted catch in two of three cases: of shads Alosinae in the USA Northwest Atlantic herring Clupea harengus and mackerel Scomber scombrus trawl fisheries; of halibut (up to 30%) in the Alaska pelagic longline fishery; but not of mixed species in the yellowfin sole Limanda aspera fishery in USA northwest Pacific region (data not reported, see paper for references to original studies). In addition, in all three cases it was assessed that there were no or minimal negative effects of fleet communication of catches on the catch of non- and commercially targeted species and no or minimal spatial or temporal displacement of unwanted catch, however, only one case was deemed as economically viable for the fishery. The review summarized peer-reviewed evaluations (see paper for details of original studies) of unwanted catch mitigation techniques, including using technology (e.g. satellite and transmitted observer data) to communicate fishing catches among participating vessels.Study and other actions tested