Fishing with data. Why is data management important in your fishery?
How many of us have heard the phrase “information is power”? This phrase is definitely true in the fisheries sector — having cutting-edge information gives you power for decision-making and action. Information is powerful as long as we know how to use it properly. For fishers, having solid, consistent and accessible information gives them this power, making them more competitive and resilient. For this reason, the sector must have mechanisms to obtain information, analyze it, interpret it and, most importantly, get the most out of it.
Information on a day-to-day basis
Decision-making in the fisheries sector is something that fishermen and women do naturally, since day by day they find themselves in different scenarios (for example, to go to fish or not, where to market their catch, whether to invest in new gear for the next season…) that lead them to make important decisions. These decisions are made with different types of information (digital platforms, historical records, scientific reports, climate forecasts) and information channels (digital media, print, radio, television, meetings). Now, with this data, fishers must make decisions that make them successful in their day to day, from seeing how much gasoline they are using and how much they are earning by going fishing for a certain species, to seeing catch data (kilos per fishery) and thus decide if that fishery profitable or not.
Decision-making with different types of data is presented in each of the stages of the fishery supply chain (extraction, administration, cleaning, processing, distribution and sale). For this reason, having different mechanisms for obtaining and generating information is more important each day, as well as the need for these data to be easily accessible and interpretable.
Access to the information
Having accessible mechanisms for the fishing sector where they can record data that they generate, or obtain from other sources, is crucial to managing fishing resources in a sustainable way. Digital platforms have become part of our life and the fishing sector is no stranger to this technological revolution. Many fishing organizations use platforms to manage their fisheries. There are also applications such as PescaData where fishing organizations generate and record information in real-time about their fishery and in turn this information is uploaded to the cloud where the administrator of the fishing organization, or the fishers themselves, can analyze and interpret such information.
Generation of information
Technological innovations, accompanied by a vision of integral management that seeks sustainability, are a fundamental piece to changing the way in which fishing is currently practiced and perceived. All fishers need to be able to calculate whether fishery is profitable or not. Therefore, sustainable use of the fishery resources should always be a priority: in the end it is your business and like any business, information and analysis are required to be able to manage it properly.
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the need for the fishing sector to incorporate digital tools into its daily work, to modernize processes, to strengthen the way in which they generate their data and to integrate this data with the fishery supply chain.
That is why, recalling the phrase “information is power”, we should work towards each fishing organization using this information efficiently, transitioning to the forefront of technological innovation, and empowering the fisheries sector to make data-driven decisions in their fisheries.