The collection of bait is now regulated by the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs) as a sea fisheries resource, but prior to this, bait collection for both personal and commercial purposes was not the subject of fisheries legislation and as such, was largely unmanaged.
With a lack of real evidence in relation to the level at which these activities were occurring as well as the impact on the environment, management from Southern IFCA required a solution that would provide quantitative and reliable data for bait dragging activities unique to Poole Harbour in Dorset, UK.
Technology-driven, solar battery-powered, SuccorfishM2M inshore vessel monitoring systems (VMS) were fitted to vessels as part of a EEF-funded project to encourage a collaborative approach between fishermen, conservationists and marine management, conserve the resources exploited by bait dragging and contribute to achieving the conservation objections of a European Marine Site (EMS).
SC2-VMS hardware used innovative and cost effective GPS and satellite technology to deliver a precise, real time picture of bait dragging vessels in harbour areas every ten minutes over one year period. Data obtained using specialist online software also demonstrated vessel speed, location to within two metres and environmental conditions in relation to harbour location.
Tom Rossiter, Head of Marine at SuccorfishM2M explained, “Southern IFCA, the management authority at Poole Harbour, collated highly valuable evidence in order to assess the impact of bait dragging activities on local sediment and the natural habitat. Quantified data obtained can now be used to effectively and proactively protect future natural resources and help to monitor any overlap between fishing activity and the management of the area’s sensitive features and native species.
“Whilst being innovative and technology driven, our iVMS solutions can be applied to many different and bespoke fisheries projects from monitoring global fishing fleets to surveying localised waters. It is an all-encompassing solution that meets a growing need to fill such data gaps in commercial fisheries worldwide. The SC2-VMS system allows marine managers to develop strategies on the best available evidence.”
Bait dragging is an activity which is believed to be unique to Poole Harbour and involves collecting bait via one or two specially designed hooked, metal drags which are deployed from a vessel. This activity is exclusively carried out for commercial purposes supplying national suppliers of bait and occurs primarily over intertidal and sub-tidal areas where the sediment environment consists of mud or muddy sand.
SuccorfishM2M commercial fisheries solutions (VMS, Catch App, Tagging and Depth & Temperature products) supports the need for fully documented fisheries. For more details contact Tom Rossiter, Head of Marine, on t: +44 (0) 7718 191347 or e: firstname.lastname@example.org or go towww.succorfish.com/fisheries