“We are experienced fishermen, but when it comes to gear technology and conservation, there’s always room for improvement.”
In May, Peter Bruce and his son Michael, of the FV Budding Rose, were the lucky winners of the M&S sponsored CatchCam Giveaway competition. The father and son duo pair trawl for whitefish with over 35 years of experience between them. However, they believe that underwater cameras like CatchCam can be a tool to improve gear performance and sustainability. Peter stated “We are experienced fishermen, but when it comes to gear technology and conservation, there’s always room for improvement.”
Understanding fish behaviour to optimise catch
Since winning the CatchCam Giveaway, Peter and Michael have been deploying CatchCam in their gear and collecting hours of great footage like the video below. Taken from within the cod end of their pair trawler, this video clearly shows a crowd of jostling whitefish. Footage such as this helps fishermen understand how fish behave and if changes need to be made to optimise catches for yield, quality or identify ways to reduce unwanted bycatch.
Using CatchCam, Peter and Michael are able to get an idea of where hot spots of fish are located. Talking with Michael, he said “We could identify where in the haul the fish was caught due to the time stamp on the video allowing us to concentrate on specific areas for future hauls.”
Furthermore, by placing CatchCam in the cod end of their net, they have been able to confirm that their fishing gear was working correctly by its shape. Over the next few weeks, Peter and Michael are hoping to learn more about their net performance. They will start by placing CatchCam in the mouth of their net.
Supporting Precision Fishing
CatchCam is a fishing camera system that gives fishermen the ability to film their fishing gear in action. Using this footage, fishermen can see if their gear is working properly and make accurate adjustments to improve efficiency. Furthermore, they can see how effective bycatch mitigation methods are on their gear. This information can then help improve the sustainability of their gear.