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Headshot - Amanda Barney

Amanda Barney

CEO, Teem Fish

Headshot - Chris Rodley

Chris Rodley

Co-Founder & CEO, SnapIT

The growth of electronic monitoring in the fishing industry is creating a major challenge: how to efficiently review massive quantities of video data. Teem Fish and SnapIT have teamed up with an innovative solution.

While fishermen have traditionally used human observers to satisfy regulatory requirements for independent, third-party monitoring of their catches, this can be costly and inefficient and can lead to human error. But advances in technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the use of state-of-the-art cameras, are helping steer the industry in a new direction that can pay huge dividends.

Finding added value

“There’s value in data beyond meeting a regulatory checkbox,” says Amanda Barney, CEO of Teem Fish, a BC-based company whose electronic monitoring solution is used by fish harvesters around the world. “Data sets can be used to show the quality of the product to get a better price, to create efficiencies by connecting directly to the buyer’s software, or to help find new markets for fish and seafood.”

Barney adds that Teem Fish is like a data steward for the fishing industry, ensuring that the data is secure and easy to analyze and use. Data transparency will create more efficient and sustainable fisheries and can lead to less polarized conversations with regulators. Fishermen can be empowered to advocate for themselves because they have the data, instead of relying on anecdotes from those who do. Teem Fish is committed to creating an affordable way to scale the use of electronic data capture to ensure the success of the industry and the continued viability of global fish stocks. While fishermen can transmit data through satellite connections, it’s costly. The Teem Fish solution excels at managing large amounts of data and is looking to take advantage of cellular or Wi-Fi transmission, which will lower costs.

In one fishery, we’ve seen a 98 percent reduction in amount of video that needs to be reviewed by using the latest technology that utilized artificial intelligence.

Sustainable fishing is in the data

“Our strength is that we combine advanced technology with extensive fisheries expertise,” says Barney. “We have a diverse team, who can work with fishermen to install and design an electronic monitoring system, and at the same time work with Amazon and Amazon Web Services for long-term cloud storage solutions at the lowest cost possible.”

Barney credits strategic partnerships with innovative companies, like the one with New Zealand-based SnapIT, which provides the robust hardware powering the Teem Fish solution. Chris Rodley, SnapIT’s co-founder and CEO, says that the biggest cost of any electronic monitoring program is not the hardware, but rather reviewing the video. “In one fishery, we’ve seen a 98 percent reduction in the amount of video that needs to be reviewed by using the latest technology that utilizes AI,” he says. “Fishermen don’t want to be messing around with technology, they just want to fish. I’m excited about the business benefits that can be accrued from the data, especially for the smaller, in-shore fisheries.” By analyzing the data, fisherman can tell how and where their fish were caught, helping them assess where they’ll fish the following year.

“Access to data provides a better picture of what’s happening in our oceans and will lead to better decision making,” says Barney. “Electronic monitoring is good for industry and good for our oceans.”

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