Danish fishermen look to make the difference with a new fishing app

Danish fishermen have taken a new initiative on board in order to enhance the their abilities to fish in a more eco-friendly way in conjunction with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

When the Danish fishermen will go to sea in the future, it will be with trawl, oilskins and mobile phone. With a smartphone in hand, fishermen can not only keep in touch with the family, they can also help ensure even more green and sustainable fishing. They can have an important app on their phone. Here they can register when they rarely catch vulnerable, endangered and protected species.

This is a project between the Danish Fisheries Association and the fishing organizations in Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany, to which the fishermen have just been awarded money from the internationally recognized sustainability scheme MSC’s Ocean Stewardship Fund:

App, sustainability and fishing may sound like a strange mix. But it is not.

The new technology can help to promote sustainability, which is just as important for Danish fishing. As fishermen, we look after nature, most of the Danish fishing is MSC certified, and the app becomes the latest shot on the stem in our green initiatives, says Kenn Skau Fischer, director of the Danish Fisheries Association.

To be able to call your fishery sustainable and become MSC certified, there are a number of requirements that must be met. Among other things. that the vulnerable, endangered and protected species must be recorded if caught. These can be rocks, seals and sharks – many different species are listed to ensure a complete overview of how fishing affects the marine environment, and thus whether it can be certified as sustainable.

The Danish fishermen take responsibility, so of course they make the registrations. Today they do so in the so-called PO diaries, but the fishermen have long sought a smarter and better solution; namely an app. So, at the request of and with input from the fishermen, the project is started. The app should include be able to log positions of the vessel, it will be possible to send pictures etc.

“With the app, hopefully, it will be somewhat easier, and we will ensure more detailed and accurate information,” explains biologist Sofie Smedegaard Mathiesen, who works with the MSC certification in the Danish Fisheries Association and adds that it will also ease the workload for the fishermen:

“The fishermen will be able to pull the mobile out of their pocket and register it easily and quickly, rather than having to fill out a sheet of paper and submit to the association every quarter.

“As I said, the app must be developed in collaboration with a number of other countries – the same countries with which the Danish fishermen have the world’s largest MSC certification in the North Sea and the Skagerrak.”

The Danish fishermen are world champions in the MSC – fishermen are leading the world with the sustainable scheme.

The app is expected to be ready for testing from autumn 2020. It is one of 15 projects the Ocean Stewardship Found, which supports research and promotion of sustainable fisheries, has funded.

Source: Danish Fish Producers Organisation