Development of a Bird-scaring Line Compliance Monitoring Device
The project was successful in advancing the development of a pilot Bird-scaring Line (BSL) compliance monitoring device. The device which attaches directly to a BSL, records if and when it is deployed during fishing operations. At-sea trials were carried out to improve technical and performance aspects of the device on vessels using different gear configurations and BSL types. A total of 10 trips (9 observed and 1 un-observed) were conducted onboard 10 different vessels using trawl, pelagic and demersal longline gear. Five different device prototypes were tested. Improvements were made to the data collection software, sensitivity to fluctuations in tension and increased robustness to fleet related operational conditions, as well as to the use of two different types of BSLs. The device is now able to connect wirelessly and transmit data. We found significant difference between fleet’s ‘Tension Profiles’ which can be used in identifying discrepancies as well as validating actual deployments. Significant differences were also found between environmental data recorded in Beauford Scales (BS) within one of the fleets, showing how relatively small variations in BS measurements can have significant impact on the tensions generated by the pull of the BSL. We were able to assess compliance with the use of BSLs, however more deployments are required to validate future versions of the prototype to ensure continuous data collection during each fishing set is improved. The date and time stamp collected by the device can be used to confirm mandatory night setting in the longline fleet by using the vessel’s own geolocation entries to logbooks.