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Var fishermen are testing new beacons to hunt for waste at sea

August 21, 2020 Maritime Safety News

Will the safeguard of the oceans pass through space? According to a 2009 report from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), 640,000 tonnes of nets, lines, life jackets or ropes are lost or abandoned at sea by the fishing industry each year. Added to the rejected waste, these “ phantom equipment »Represent 10% of plastic pollution in the oceans. Faced with this growing phenomenon, which is damaging the seabed and costing various fishermen dearly, a company based in Toulouse, Collecte localization satellites (CLS), has just launched an experiment with the Var department’s fisheries committee.

Thanks to its know-how in the field of satellites – since its inception it has managed data collections for the Argos localization system – this subsidiary of the National Center for Space Studies (CNES), 750 employees, 50 fisheries monitoring centers and 15,000 active satellite beacons, is already involved in the sustainable management of fisheries, environmental surveillance and fleet monitoring.

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“We have been doing research and development on this new system for two years, says Gaëtan Fabritius, director of the company’s “innovation and prospective” department. Knowing the position of their equipment, fishermen will save research time and thus save fuel. They will also reduce their carbon footprint, the time spent at sea and the risks associated with practicing their activities in isolated and sometimes hostile environments. “

“We want to lead by example”

It is therefore on boats of 12 meters maximum, with one or two fishermen on board, that the small beacons, connected to the new network of Kinéis nanosatellites, are moored. More precisely on ” the signal “, a bamboo pole and its flag which marks the presence of lines or longlines.

” We decided to test these tags because we want to lead by example. We are the most respectful fishermen of marine flora and fauna, the least polluting compared to large trawlers. The sea becomes a garbage can, it must stop ”, proclaims Pierre Morera, native of Marseilles, 55 years old, president of the Var fisheries committee, which for fifteen years has crisscrossed the waters facing the island of Porquerolles, from the small port of La Londe-les-Maures.

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Versatile and bringing a maximum of 20 kg of sea bream, sea bream, cuttlefish, swordfish, lobsters or bluefin tuna at the end of their lines or traps, some fishermen in the Var will be equipped with a shelf, itself connected to the Kinéis system. ” Offshore, the GSM telephone network no longer works and we do not have Internet. We are currently testing the effectiveness, and then we will move on to the prototype phase with the CLS teams ”, says Morera. In addition to the beacons attached to the longlines, another prototype, the shape and size of a rugby ball, will be tested on the nets of small trawlers. In the event of loss or stall due to another boat, the net will be located. It will only remain to recover it.

thecanadian