Technology Firm Hoping to Net a Bumper Catch

The Journal (Newcastle, England), December 16, 2011 | Go to article overview

Technology Firm Hoping to Net a Bumper Catch


Byline: Karen Dent

A NORTH Tyneside technology company is preparing for a busy New Year when fishing industry legislation changes in January.

Succorfish has spent two years developing cost-effective equipment that allows smaller boats to monitor their position and ensure they are not fishing in protected areas.

The business, which employs 10 people at its base on North Shields' fish quay, is hoping Government praise for its SC2 vessel monitoring system (VMS) will translate into sales.

The SC2 uses real-time satellite and mobile phone technology, with online tracking software to relay data back to a password protected website.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman and fisheries minister Richard Benyon saw the hi-tech system in action during sea trials with local fishermen in Lyme Bay in Dorset. The evaluation of the trial is due to be published in the spring.

The trials were funded by Defra, supported by industry authority, Seafish, and carried out by the Marine Management Organisation.

They tested the equipment's ability to meet European legislation, coming into force in January, which will mean all commercial fishing vessels of 12m long and over will have to be able to monitor their position and show they have not been fishing in protected areas.

Environment Secretary Spelman said: "This groundbreaking equipment proves just how innovative the UK fishing industry is. By embracing new technology, it shows that the sector is ready and able to respond positively to the need to protect the marine environment while continuing to make a living from the sea. …

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