Applied research is helping meet the needs of New Zealand's fishing industry.

The Ministry for Primary Industries has introduced a requirement for commercial fishing operators to provide electronic catch reporting. Martin Junek, Lecturer in Information Technology, developed an electronic catch reporting app designed for small operators, which is now widely used. It is commercially available through the company eCatch which Martin co-founded.

Martin has since turned his attention to another industry need. If an operator has by-catch species for which they do not hold quota, that by-catch must be sold to someone who is licensed to catch that species. The price is usually very low because the seller must sell. To level the playing field, Martin has developed another app that will help operators find buyers, and hence increase competition and prices for the sale of by-catch.

The new app is now being trialled by a few Otago-based fishers, who can make limited wharf sales direct to customers. Feedback from customers is very positive and the fish is selling out quickly.


April 2021

Image credit: Bernard Spragg, sourced from Flickr, public domain