We spoke to Pierrick Salaun who was on hand to answer questions about the new system during the Itech Mer exhibition in Lorient.
‘We have seen skippers using different softwares, and we have seen a lot of software that’s designed by engineers for engineers. So we set out to develop software by engineers, but for skippers who need to get to the right information quickly,’ he said.
‘So all the data you need can be reached in not more than three clicks.’
At the heart of MarineView is a system of collating data from tuna buoys, overlaid with an array of oceanographic data. Aimed primarily at tuna purse seiners and surface/pelagic longliners he commented that the features that MarineView offers should also be of real interest in other fisheries, such as fishing for mackerel in northern waters.
‘In addition to the buoy data, MarineView brings in current, temperature and drift prediction information. It shows current at the surface, and a choice of current data at different depths, from an aggregate of currents below the surface to providing current strength and flow for depth bands that the skipper can select, down to 150 metres,’ he explained.
‘If there are strong currents diverging at 30 or 50 metres below the surface, these can rip a purse seine apart,’ he added.
This is also key information for tuna fishing, as MarineView provides indications of likely drift for FADs, depending on their design and depth.
‘This means that skippers can look at the drift prediction to assess where they need to place FADs to get them to drift where they want them to be,’ he said.
Oceanographic data is sourced from NOAA, Copernicus and Mercator, as well as from Azti which supplies a weekly recommendation of which areas are likely to be most productive, depending on analysis of the oceanographic data available.
‘The biologists have worked extensively with us to develop this,’ he said.
MarineView comes with a control console designed to be intuitive to use, with a button selection to reach the right functions – but the same functions are replicated in a series of buttons running down the side of the screen, so all that’s needed is a computer in the wheelhouse.
‘The console connects to the computer via a USB port and the software recognises and activates it,’ Pierrick Salaun said, adding that a port call isn’t needed to install Marine View.
‘You need a computer and broadband on board, and we can send the software via Dropbox or WeTransfer. We’re also looking at developing a package of MarineView with a computer and a V-Sat for smaller vessels that don’t normally have this kind of communications on board.’
So far Marine Instruments have 45 purse seiners with MarineView on board, and more have committed to testing it at sea, including a number of the larger tuna companies.
‘This is a system that’s of interest to many pelagic fisheries, such as northern mackerel and herring fishing, and Algeria and Morocco are also interesting with their fisheries for tuna and for small pelagics,’ he said.
‘This has been two years of development to ensure that the software works perfectly, and we had to be sure before we launched this,’ he said. ‘We also worked extensively with the biologists at Azti to get this right. We also carry out training for the skippers who use our systems three or four times a year in Bermeo or Concarneau when they are ashore as they alternate trips, or we can do this in ports such as Abidjan, where we bring all the skippers together on one of the purse seiners and run a day’s training there.’