Technological innovation in fisheries and conservation

Innovation is a relevant factor for the competitiveness of any business, including the fishing sector. Innovation is the clear response to new consumer demands, which are constantly evolving, and to the need to continue optimizing and improving the value chain.

Fishing and the fishing sector as a whole generates more than 20% of the European Union’s total production. This sector is continuously growing. As the agricultural sector, the fishing sector has always been characterized by low investment in R&D, but this is changing in recent years, where technology and evolution are taking over.

The fisheries and conservation sector faces several challenges where innovation plays an important role. The main challenges that fisheries are facing are how to increase the supply of a product that is becoming increasingly scarce due to the depletion of a resource that seemed inexhaustible because of the fishing policy of the last century, the reduction in the use of fossil fuels and the increase in demand.

New technologies in the fishing sector

4.0 technologies have been implemented in the fishing sector through the use of AI, big data analysis, and machine learning for better monitoring of the activity of fish stocks and gender monitoring. This improves the management of wild fish by reducing waste and environmental impact. Several tools already exist for this purpose, such as:  

  • The electronic logbook, which helps record data on catches, accompanying fauna and fishing effort by recording the data on a mobile device that stores and sends the information directly.
  • The automated scale, which is linked to a computer or electronic tablet and, at the time of weighing, the information comes directly from one device to another. In this way it is ready and the transcription of data for the arrival notice is avoided.
  • The Camera and Tracking System consists of two components: video cameras and tracking devices. These instruments are installed at strategic points on the vessel and can be used to obtain recordings of what happens on board to improve fishing operations.
The use of robotic systems is also beginning to be used for handling and preserving the gender, although more timidly due to their high cost. The increase in production through aquaculture has been encouraged, as fish farming still has a lot of room for development. This new technology is applied to the diversification of the species to be cultivated and the optimization of production capacity.

Finally, work is being carried out on advances that make it possible to control contamination and the appearance of diseases.

It is clear that innovation plays a fundamental role in the future of the fishing sector and is more and more present. That is why in our Master in International Agribusiness Management we have a module focused on innovation processes in agribusiness.
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