Innovation & Technology
The fishing sector is at the forefront of innovation, working in partnership with the research community to develop state of the art technologies and innovations. The sector uses software to record catches of trawlers and regularly transmits data to scientists. Fishermen are developing selective fishing gears and tools to encourage all actors to respect minimum fish sizes.
Today, innovation “means fish better and fish less”. Innovations in fisheries are being developed around according to the following aspects: catching new species, new fishing techniques, acoustic detection, positioning, selectivity, improvement of existing techniques, fuel economy, and limitation of impact on fragile ecosystems, ergonomics and security.
Mesh size tends to increase to ensure more selectivity. Another trend shows an increasing reduction of the drag of trawlers under the water, which leads to less fuel consumption.
New tools like the OMEGA gauge ensure an objective measure of fishing nets meshes. Acoustic repellent are also used to prevent fishermen from accidentally catching animals like dolphins. Other technological innovations on panels used with trawlers lower the risk of impact on vulnerable maritime environments. The same apply for rolls used with trawlers.
Live video and sonars are increasingly used to ensure that trawlers do not go on unknown or unprotected areas.
Fishermen have not waited for legislation; they are innovating with scientists to improve selectivity and limit their impact.
New behaviours and new technologies are combining to make sustainable fishing a reality.
Best practice need to be widely shared to make a difference.
Europe has a chance to create the most sustainable fishing sector in the world.