“We’ve never seen anything like this before,” says Darren McClemments, Skipper of the Golden Ray, as he watches a video of juvenile whitefish escaping his prawn trawl net via the square mesh panel. This video was recorded by CatchCam, an underwater camera designed by SafetyNet Technologies specifically for commercial fishing.
For most fishermen, their gear is out of sight after shooting. Once the fishing gear is retrieved, fishermen must rely on their intuition to figure out why they had a good catch or not. But, for Darren and his crew, CatchCam is removing the guesswork from fishing.
Using CatchCam, Darren has collected over 200 hours of underwater video showing his prawn trawl net in action. This footage has provided evidence that the square mesh panel is working effectively. Furthermore, CatchCam is helping Darren further improve the efficiency and selectivity of his trawl net, allowing him to fish more precisely.
“It’s not just about getting rid of fish; it is about making sure you are catching what you need to catch. We could clearly see that our sole rope was not sitting on the bottom and that we lost prawns. When we got back to the harbour, we measured up the gear and took two meshes out of the top sheet. Following this small alteration, we now have better contact, and the boat is fishing better.”
SafetyNet Technologies are working with the Golden Ray and Whitby Seafoods to improve the selectivity of the Nephrops fishery in the Irish Sea and will be exhibiting at the Irish Skipper Expo.
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