Tech innovations are changing how we live and work in every sector of the economy. #BCTECH Transformations profiles BC companies that provide technology that is helping natural resource industries increase their productivity and competitiveness. Part 3 of the series looks at how Victoria’s Archipelago Marine Research is a major part of a transforming commercial fisheries industry.
Whether you’ve enjoyed the water off British Columbia’s south coast or dined at an area restaurant, you have felt the benefits of Archipelago Marine Research. Through a commitment to fisheries, coastal communities and industry regulators, Archipelago assists multiple facets of the commercial fisheries industry.
Archipelago develops and implements CCTV-based monitoring and review solutions for commercial fishing fleets. The company’s deep understanding of electronic monitoring software and hardware enables them to provide fishers and industry regulators with quality, customized insight. Once installed, Archipelago’s onboard monitoring system can help reviewers verify fishing times and locations, identify size and species of catch, and display fishing activity in real time. Archipelago also trains and certifies fisheries observers for at-sea and dockside monitoring.
“Fishermen don’t like having someone or something looking over their shoulder,” says CEO Shawn Stebbins.
Due to this feeling, fishers were not always willing to consider efficiency tools. Trip decisions were made on a hunch and without the proper data and analytics. Commercial fishing is also an industry that is at the whim of the weather; this means that fishers need to make the most out of opportune days. So, they’re warming to the idea of using monitoring and review technology to improve their expeditions.
“The importance and value of having quality datasets and preparation is really being seen,” says Stebbins.
In addition to the value observers and electronic monitoring solutions have had on the industry, Archipelago has facilitated a focus on environmentalism. The organization works alongside other industries who share space with marine land to ensure environmental factors are accounted for. They’re also fierce advocates for sustainable fishing.
“This focus has extended from fishermen to restaurants to consumer,” says Stebbins. “There’s a desire to do things better and more sustainably than in the past.”