State to fund vessel tracking system development

A DANISH company is one of two tech businesses awarded $278,300 by the Queensland government to develop vessel tracking systems for commercial operators.

The grants, given to Anchor Lab and Australian start-up Fish-e, were approved under the state government’s Advance Queensland Small Business Innovation Research program.

SURVEILLANCE: How vessel tracking data is combined with logbook information to provide haul heat maps. Photo: Agriculture and Fisheries Department

SURVEILLANCE: How vessel tracking data is combined with logbook information to provide haul heat maps. Photo: Agriculture and Fisheries Department

The proposed systems will be designed to record data for authorities, including fishing location and catch, as the state government begins its to monitor smaller commercial fishers from later this year.

Commercial operators, including line, net and crab boats, will need to buy satellite tracking devices by the end of this year and pay up to $40 per month for information to be sent to authorities.

Haul details are currently logged by operators manually but the proposed systems would record this information automatically using technology including smart sensors and image recognition of fish species.

Fisheries minister Mark Furner said the applications would replace manual logbooks.

“Automated technology will save fishers time and money by reducing the burden to record their daily catch and fishing effort in traditional hard copy logbooks,” he said.

“Fisheries Queensland will receive more accurate information in real time rather than waiting for logbooks to be sent in and data entered, giving the community greater confidence in the quality of data.”

A spokesperson for Mr Furner said the two companies would be eligible for further grant money to trial their systems once developed.

“This will include trialling systems on boats,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the Palaszczuk Government’s $513 million Advance Queensland initiative supported jobs across different industry sectors.