Mobile Tech Will Improve Fishery and Aquaculture in Asia News Feed

January 26, 2015—Pelagic Data and P.T. Bali Seafood International were awarded first prize January 23 in a challenge competition sponsored by Maximizing Agricultural Revenue through Knowledge Enterprise Development and Trade (MARKET), a project managed by Nathan Associates. The award was announced at a technology innovation forum organized by MARKET and USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA) in Bangkok. 

Tim Moore and Gerald Knecht and David Solomon

The Challenge Competition

The competition sought innovative information and communication technology that can make wild-caught fishery and aquaculture operations in Asia more sustainable and inclusive, while capturing value in supply chains and improving rural incomes. The competition was open to NGOs, nonprofits, universities, and for-profit entities operating in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, the United States, and Vietnam. Competitors had to

  • Have a tested tool that involves a digital platform for receiving and housing data and a strategy for deploying the tool across the region,
  • Show how the tool provides value to the seafood industry, and
  • Be willing and able to work with sector stakeholders. 

Technology applications were judged on the basis of six criteria, including sustainability, scalability, and potential to improve environmental performance of fisheries and aquaculture. The applications of three finalists—Pelagic Data and P.T. Bali Seafood International, WWF Philippines and TraceAll Global,  and SmartCatch were selected for presentation at the forum in Bangkok on January 22.

The Applications

At the forum, Gerald Knecht, CEO of P.T. Bali Seafood International, described a solar-powered device developed with Pelagic Data. The device collects data such as GPS location, gear type, and storage temperature so fishermen can show that their products have been handled properly and caught legally. The device automatically collects data, which is then loaded onto cloud-based servers. All data, analytics, and alerts can be visualized on a dashboard.

Jose Ingles of WWF Philippines describes catch monitoring system for handline fisheries.

Jose Ingles of WWF Philippines described his group’s design for a catch documentation and monitoring system for yellowfin tuna handline fisheries. Cloud storage allows for easy access and retrieval and will support fast, accurate, and tamper-proof traceability, as well as direct communication with the databases of local fishery bureaus.

Robert Terry of SmartTech explains CatchCam.

Robert Terry of SmartTech described CatchCam, a device that records catch composition and marine conditions. Fishermen use the system to monitor the content of nets in real-time before harvesting, thus reducing unwanted bycatch. Tamper-proof data are stored in a secure cloud that can be accessed for audits and to verify sustainable fishing practices.

The Forum

About 100 representatives of fisheries, aquaculture organizations, seafood companies, technology providers, and investors attended the two-day forum. Twenty organizations and companies discussed the current and potential role of mobile technology in fishery and aquaculture development and improvement. Topics included

  • Ecosystems and co-management
  • Small aquaculture farm management, market linkages, and international standards
  • Traceability and transparency in seafood supply chains
  • Financing sustainability and inclusiveness through PPPs and risk management
  • Governance, innovation, and community involvement necessary for technology to have impact.

On February 11, MARKET will hold a panel discussion—An ASEAN Movement to Ensure Sustainable and Responsible Seafood to Serve the Global Marketplace—at Seafood Summit in New Orleans.

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