Innovative Technological Solutions for Sea Fisheries Control and Enforcement
May 10, 2018

DEFRA has long explored and promoted technological solutions to help bring about positive change, and the Marine Management Organisation has also fully embraced this agenda since being created by the Marine and Coastal Access Act of 2009.

One of the latest examples of such commitment was the launch of Innovative Technological Solutions for Sea Fisheries Control and Enforcementtender, which was formally announced in January of this year. The ITT called for applicants to set out how they would explore technological solutions able to support effective application of and compliance with extant fisheries regulations, activities never more important.

NLA is delighted to announce that we have been award the contract to deliver this important work. We will therefore be energetically pursuing the following objectives in the coming months:

  1. Assessing and prioritising current and future fisheries control and enforcement challenges in the UK EEZ;
  2. Identifying and appraising innovative solutions for addressing those challenges, building upon current methods and technology developments; and, where appropriate
  3. Undertaking proof of concept/trial work.

The initial evidence base established at the start of the project will scope out what these challenges are. Over the course of the project, the intent is to identify the potential use of new technologies and innovation in providing a solution to the challenges.

DEFRA is working with several agencies including the MMO, Environment Agency and the IFCAs. Together they want to achieve developments in areas such as satellite technology, robotics, autonomous systems, machine learning, block chain and fish catch monitoring systems which have the potential to complement existing control and enforcement methods over the full range of surveillance methods from detection to deterrence.

NLA has formed an exciting consortium of researchers and experts to undertake this important study.

All of this work will also dovetail with the broader Government agenda of exploring how new technologies and innovative approaches can transform the way industries develop. Much strategic thinking in that area was set out in the Government Office for Science’s excellent Technology and Innovation Futures 2017 report of last year. It is fantastic that the fisheries sector is taking a lead in harnessing tech to enable long-term economic growth and productivity in the UK, and much else.

Taking all this into account, please get in touch with us if:

  • You have any relevant existing research activity you wish to bring to light;
  • You would like to contribute ideas as to the control and enforcement challenges you think need to be recognised, or
  • You know of, utilise, work for or own any technologies that you consider essential to this study.

We are very pleased to be involved in this work and look forward to address the challenges and needs of Defra and its partner agencies in the UK EEZ over the coming months.


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