How might we decrease the occurrence of marine species entanglements with fishing gear and decrease ghost gear creation, while making the commercial fishing process more intelligent for fisheries?
Since 2007 studies of removed gear from whales showed that 91% of cases involved vertical lines. Abandoned gear continues to catch fish and not only creates harmful environmental and ecological effects, it also causes socioeconomic consequences. In 2016 the removal of 34,408 abandoned pots led to gear efficiency gains and an additional 13,504 MT in harvest valued at US $21.3 million. Up to 10% of the world’s ocean plastic (and 70% of large pieces) comes from lost or abandoned fishing gear. The principal causes of lost fishing gear are unexpected position changes and entanglements.
The main goal is the prevention of gear loss. A great solution not only benefits the environment but also benefits the fishers, they can avoid the income losses that ghost gear creates and also benefit from an intelligent gear that collaborates to improve their efficiency.
- Fishers install the device in the gear, and define the maximum time that it will be underwater. Later, the fishers deploy the gear onto the water. The device stores its location and sends it to the server/app.
- The traps wait on the seafloor during the predefined time.
- The buoy is released if the time lapse ends or if the device detects that the trap has reached its full capacity. When the buoy gets to the surface it transmits its location.
- The fishers find the buoy and retrieve the gear.