DigiFish Data Driven Solutions to Inform Decision Making

DigiFish aims to promote the use of digital technologies and innovative data analytical methods to support the application of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) in Barbados. Phase 1 of DigiFish is being implemented by Barbados National Union of Fisherfolk Organisations (BARNUFO) and Blue Shell Productions in collaboration with the Barbados Environmental Conservation Trust and Pelagic Data Systems (PDS). This initiative piloted the installation of 38 PDS vessel tracking devices on small-scale vessels in Barbados to illustrate how fishing effort changes through space and time.

Close up of PDS Vessel Tracking Device

The pilot demonstrates how vessel tracking systems can be used to make informed decisions about how fisheries can be best managed to balance diverse societal and environmental objectives while improving livelihoods. It also aims to foster productive partnerships between industry stakeholders, the Coastal Zone Management Unit and Barbados Coast Guard in applying integrated data solutions to support fisheries management and marine spatial planning. This pilot is now being replicated in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Photo credit: Pelagic Data Systems
Photo credit: Pelagic Data Systems

Phase 2 of DigiFish aims to address the fragmentation of seafood value chains and promote traceability by transforming landing sites into intelligent spaces. The project seeks to pilot the installation of 40 Remora Vessel Monitoring Devices aboard longline vessels and station two Smart Scales in the Bridgetown Fisheries Complex. The data intelligence and visualization platform will compile the data collected to determine catch location, calculate fishing effort, analyze landings and begin the traceability certification process.

Smart Scale Prototype | Photo credit: Remora Fishing Traceability

This same data is also relevant towards achieving eco-labels related to the premium growing market of responsibly-caught fish. This phase is being implemented by Blue Shell Productions in collaboration with Remora Fishing Traceability and Mr. Fish Inc. Funding is provided by Export Barbados and Compete Caribbean Partnership facility.