BlueFinger launches Web-Delivered Electronic Catch Reporting System

  • Will help fisheries authorities to minimise illegal fishing, monitor quota compliance, comply with international regulations, and conserve fish stocks
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BlueFinger, the Marine subsidiary of Cybit, the UK's leading online Telematics Service Provider, has launched Saffire-ERS, a commercially available electronic catch reporting system to assist authorities to record, report and process catch-related fishing data in accordance with international fishing regulations. The accessibility and visibility of this information provided by BlueFinger's Saffire-ERS is designed to aid authorities in their efforts to reduce illegal fishing and proactively manage stocks.

Saffire-ERS enables authorities to paperlessly manage the large volume of data generated by recording the whole process of catch to sale including species, landings, transhipment and sales. This contributes to the management of conservation and sustainable harvesting of fish stocks in an increasingly global regulatory environment.

"Maintaining sustainable fish stocks is the goal for all international fisheries authorities at the moment, and any tools that help increase the accuracy and accessibility of data can be key to success in this effort," commented Steve Jones, Director of Specialist Tracking Solutions at BlueFinger. "Saffire-ERS enables authorities to automate many key reporting functions, which enhances reporting and visibility of information not only nationally, but internationally across different jurisdictions. This is essential in this global battle to combat illegal fishing."

The system went through initial trials leading to full implementation by the UK's maritime authorise managed by DEFRA and already allows for data sharing with neighbouring states and regional facilities, including the Community Fisheries Control Agency Data Centre in Vigo.

The web-delivered database and logging system is an extension of BlueFinger's Fisheries Vessel Monitoring System, which is deployed in over 20 nation states around the globe to protect Exclusive Economic Zones and fisheries. The software development of Saffire-ERS is an extension of the monitoring services BlueFinger already supplies to the commercial fisheries market.

Steve Jones continued: "The benefits of the solution are that fisheries authorities can do away with many cumbersome paper-based processes and time taken to assimilate and analyse data. This makes reporting more accurate and easier to administer. This new level of reporting will not only help cut illegal fishing, but will also create more visible verification for legitimate fishing organisations, which can get a fisheries authority seal-of-approval for their catch."

About BlueFinger
BlueFinger is a specialist provider of Vessel Monitoring Systems. The BlueFinger designed database will hold full catch and sales records of every vessel over 15 meters in length and make this data available 24/7 via any web-connected PC.

BlueFinger, a part of the Cybit group, is a global leader in the field of EEZ fisheries management, tracking many thousands of fishing vessels on a daily basis. The company provides vessel monitoring and catch management solutions for many of the world’s major fishing nations. As well as EC governments including the UK, Ireland and Greece, BlueFinger helps to manage valuable fishing stocks for emerging nations such as Ghana, Namibia and Mozambique.

BlueFinger's provision of ERS and real-time access to catch reporting by buyers, sellers and authorities is managed by DEFRA on behalf of the Marine & Fisheries Agency, Marine Scotland, the Department of Agriculture in Northern Ireland and the Welsh Assembly Government.

All vessels greater than 24 metres in length will be required this year to electronically record and transmit logbook data on a daily basis. The same requirement will apply to all EU fishing vessels greater than 15 metres in length from 2011.

The UK fishing fleet of circa 6,500 vessels lands over 614,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish annually. ERS is a key component of managing the long-term viability and protection of UK fishing grounds, species stock management and an industry employing over 16,000 frontline workers. The Electronic Recording and Reporting of Fishing Activity is part of a pan-European project commissioned and funded in part by the EU.

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