AUSTRALIA - Digital technology could make paper records a thing of the past in South Australia’s Southern Zone Rock Lobster fishery.
With the opening of the 2014-15 season, the fishery has been trialing a tablet-based digital record keeping system called Deckhand which records catch details while boats are still out on the water, and the information can be uploaded directly to PIRSA and other databases.
Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister Leon Bignell said the system streamlined administrative functions, and delivered benefits for fishers and fishery management.
"The South Eastern Professional Fishermen’s Association and PIRSA are conducting the trial with about half the commercial fishing fleet using a combination of the tablet-based application and the old paper-based recording," he said.
"If the voluntary trial is successful, we hope to see the catch recording process made completely digital for all fishers in the commercial Southern Zone Rock Lobster fishery."
Mr Bignell said the technology development was initiated and funded by industry, the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, and PIRSA.
South Eastern Professional Fishermen’s Association executive officer Justin Phillips said the trial is a move towards a paperless industry, and consolidates e-Scales technology which has been operating in the fishery for seven years.
"If successful, there is no reason why this technology could not be used across the broader industry to achieve a paperless reporting system in the near future," Mr Phillips said.
The Southern Zone Rock Lobster season continues to May 31, 2015.
TheFishSite News Desk