Technology is proving to be a game-changer in the fishing industry. This is a very old industry with many tried and tested methods from ages ago still in place today. Bringing in new innovations and technologies can benefit both fish farmers and the local environments and ecosystems as well.
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The Importance of Sustainable Fishing
When fishing is not controlled, there are a few consequences that can result. Overfishing is a major problem in many parts of the world. Although the fishermen who carry out this practice could bring in good profits in one season, there is only a limited benefit. Overfishing depletes the natural fish population of an area, making it difficult for the remaining fish to replenish the numbers.
The practice of sustainable fishing covers many things, including fishing with restraint so as not to diminish fish populations in an area and respecting the natural ecosystem of the area. Sustainable fishing makes sure that in the coming seasons and years, others can also fish from the same areas. It’s all about preserving the balance of local ecosystems. Technology is one of the ways that is improving the monitoring and implementation of sustainable farming practices.
Many international organizations design ways for sustainable fishing to be done. The United Nation Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) takes a special interest in fisheries and aquaculture technologies and how these can be used to improve harvests and efficiencies with reduced adverse effects on the environment.
Examples of Technology Use in Fishing
Anyone operating on a large scale in the fishing industry needs to constantly be on the lookout for ways to cut costs, improve harvests, and increase their profits. They must also consider the impact of their actions on plant and animal life in the area as well as the lives of local communities.
Some of the pain points for large scale fishing companies include finding the fish and handling the huge quantities that they get. Electronic fish finding equipment are tools that can be installed aboard fishing boats. They use sonar technology to speed up the process of locating the next big fish harvest. Improved communication and navigation systems that make use of satellite technology also help fishing boats improve their fishing expeditions.
A lot of gear and equipment is also used in the handling of the harvest. Very large quantities of fish can be brought in from a single harvest. The nets used, haulage systems, and other gear must be strong enough to support the size of the harvest and endure the associated wear and tear. New innovative technologies in the type of fibers used in the net and the configuration of the hydraulic equipment used provide benefits to the fisher. These include faster haulage times, reduced manual labor, and lower equipment maintenance and replacement costs.
The fishing industry can also make use of technology for increased communication and access to information. Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing presents a major challenge to the tremendous advances being made in sustainable fishing. This is a multi-billion dollar segment of the overall industry, and it contributes to fish population depletion, environmental damage, and a whole array of violations. Technology can be used to tackle this illegal market. Improved means of reporting illegal fishing activities could make a huge difference.
Fishing apps provide many benefits to the fishing sector. New and small-scale fisheries can use these apps to access information on fishing techniques and other related information. There is still a lot of room for technology to be used to improve the monitoring and tracking of local fishing systems. Collecting data about fishing activity, evasive species, and fishing trends can be useful for mapping and analysis. This information can be utilized by regulatory authorities and policymakers.