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How smart nets and scanners could keep more fish in the sea

November 20, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Commercial fishing is draining our oceans of life, with trawlers catching fish faster than stocks can replenish. The European Union is hoping that smart technology can help fix the problem.

Trondheim, Norway (CNN Business)Commercial fishing is draining our oceans of life.

More than a third of global fish stocks were classified as overfished in 2017, and while the problem is most acute in developing countries, the European Union is hoping that investing in technology can help fix a problem in its waters.

It is funding a project called SmartFish H2020, led by Norwegian company SINTEF Ocean, which partners with fishing companies, tech suppliers and universities to design equipment to reduce the industry's impact on marine life.

It emits sounds and uses LED lights of different colors and intensities to attract only target species to the net, encouraging other fish to swim away.

We don't know how much fish is in the ocean and we need to find this information. "

CatchScanner could also help tackle rule-breaking; some fishing vessels catch more fish than EU quotas allow, as well as fish of the wrong size and species.

With demand for seafood increasing and growing pressure on sea life, the 2014-2020 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund set aside €6. 4 billion ($7. 6 billion) for projects like SmartFish, to modernize fisheries, monitor quotas, collect data around commercial species, and create sustainable jobs.

However, Tiller says that many fishing companies across Europe have shown interest.

"Some of these technologies can be very expensive to put onboard fishing vessels," she says.

Fisherman Aitor Larrañaga will soon test the SmartGear trawl net off the coast of Spain, with his company Larrasmendi Bi. He's enthusiastic about smart tech and believes the fishing industry needs to innovate to become more sustainable.

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