29 November 2019 — WWF-New Zealand
Napier-based fisherman, Karl Warr, has become the first fisherman in the world to live-stream his catch on the internet. Many fishing vessels are equipped with video monitoring systems but the data is stored for viewing at a later date by particular parties. Karl, Owner of Better Fishing, has taken transparency to the next level by allowing anyone with an internet connection to view how the fish on their plate is caught.
His vessel is fitted with a standard monitoring system but it has been upgraded by, Nelson-based tech company, SnapIT to allow his video to be live-streamed. SnapIT’s technology is equipped with artificial intelligence which will be able to identify individual fish species and classify activities on Karl’s vessel.
Warr says transparent fishing is the way forward for him, both environmentally and financially. The camera, and its associated technology, enables him to demonstrate to consumers his commitment to sustainability and ethical practices, “This technology allows the public to see everything I do on my vessel. My goal is to engage with community and customers as closely as possible by telling the story behind the production of their seafood.”
Transparency, technology, and innovation are vital to a more sustainable fishing industry. Camera on fishing boats make it very hard to hide marine mammals or seabirds dying in fishing nets, and helps deter fish dumping and unethical practices. They also reward fishers who successfully avoid bycatch and engage in best practice. It allows consumers to make an informed decision about what they eat, empowering their choices which will either reward or penalise a fisherman through their wallets.
WWF has long supported greater transparency in fishing because it leads to more sustainable fisheries management. WWF is proud to support Karl’s efforts, “We applaud Karl taking this courageous first step to show the world how fish gets to market. Not every fisherman will be comfortable with a live-stream camera and that’s okay. But we hope Karl’s brave, groundbreaking move will inspire others to engage in Better Fishing,” says Bubba Cook, Western and Central Pacific Tuna Programme Manager for WWF.
The great news is this technology is available for other fishers to add to their boats, whether they decide to store data on board or take the extra step to live-stream their catch, like Karl.
For more information about WWF’s work with Better Fishing visit: https://www.wwf.org.nz/what_we_do/marine/sustainable_fisheries/better_fishing.cfm