Development of CatchCam began in 2020 after fishermen that SafetyNet Technologies worked together with expressed a need to see their fishing gear in situ to better understand what is happening. Most fishing crews have no way of directly seeing their nets underwater and are essentially fishing blindly. As a result, fishing crews end up damaging their nets and/or accidentally catching the wrong species.
Gear mounted underwater cameras have been available to commercial fishers for some time. However, at present, these cameras have not been adopted by UK fishermen because they are expensive (>£50k), bulky, and difficult to use. Therefore, “Project Fisheye” is developing CatchCam to be a low cost, fit-for-purpose alternative. Furthermore, “Project Fisheye” will also support the creation of a phone app to compliment CatchCam. The app will filter through hours of video to show the most beneficial footage to save fishing crews time and effort.
“Being able to see what my nets are doing underwater takes the guesswork out of fishing.”
Darren, the skipper of Golden Ray, is a dedicated fisherman who is constantly improving his fishing practices to be more sustainable and efficient. “Being able to see what my nets are doing underwater takes the guesswork out of fishing. Using the cameras I’ve got a much better idea of how the fish behave in my nets and how my gear can be tweaked and improved.”
Between January and March 2022, “Project Fisheye” will enable six trials of CatchCam on leading commercial fishing boats in the UK. By giving fishing crews CatchCam to use, SafetyNet Technologies is ensuring that the camera is rugged enough to withstand the intense fishing environment. Furthermore, it’s the only way to make sure CatchCam is easy to deploy, recover and review footage from.
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