What can happen aboard a fishing vessel in the span of an hour? The answer—just about anything. This question caught the attention of Pelagic Data System's founding team in early 2014. With their backgrounds in fisheries management, the three-person team understood that existing tracking technologies capture only enough information to estimate a boat's activities. Using data on a vessel's position, course, and speed—reported by the hour—technologists can deduce if it's fishing or not and little else. They realized, if you could track a vessel's location every couple seconds, you could learn more about its activities, including how fast it's moving from moment to moment, when it's fishing versus transiting, and even what types of equipment fishermen are using. A device like that would expand the cache of fisheries management tools, especially of small-scale fisheries, which are not typically tracked using existing technologies. So, the team conceived of PDS' vessel tracking technology—a small and inexpensive solar-powered device that uses cellular networks to keep second-by-second tabs on artisanal vessels.
© Secure Oceans 2016