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THE FIRST COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEM FOR PREDICTIVE IDENTIFICATION OF ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED AND UNREGULATED FISHING

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TrackIUU (THE FIRST COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEM FOR PREDICTIVE IDENTIFICATION OF ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED AND UNREGULATED FISHING)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2019-08-31

Illegal Unregulated and Unreported Fishing (IUU) undermines global efforts working towards sustainable fisheries. Current estimates are that up to a third of the global catch is IUU. This has huge economic and environmental impacts.

The current solutions used by National Fisheries Organisations and Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, such as Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) present information for review by operators. However this requires that a human operator review the many data streams for multiple vessels simultaneously in order to decide which vessels are at risk for IUU activity and require physical inspection by limited air and sea resources. TRACKIUU is looking to streamline and improve the selection of at risk vessels. This should provide more precise and timely targeting of physical inspection activities allowing greater detection rates, better use of limited air and sea resources, and ultimately better enforcement and hence a reduction in IUU activity.

Trackwell will achieve its aims for TRACKIUU by finalising the creation of an intelligent machine learning software system capable of identifying at risk vessels in real time from all currently available data streams; and carrying out a commercialisation plan to bring TRACKIUU to the market.

The successful implementation of the project will help Trackwell on its current growth trend while simultaneously reducing IUU with the subsequent benefits to fishing economies and the marine environement.
Through this feasibility study we have analysed the main tasks required to get us to commercialisation of TRACKIUU.

The technical challenges for further development of the software prototype, and the solutions to them are clearer.
Such as:
The traditional and additional data streams that are available and the value they add.
How to fill the skills shortage in machine learning software and other algorithm development with partners and our new hires.
How we fit TRACKIUU into the existing software space dominated by VMS by not overlapping functionality with VMS systems ensuring it is a must have add on to the existing software space.
These technical challenges can be easily met by the Trackwell team and our external data and technical partners.

The Market analysis has identified a significant market opportunity for TRACKIUU and large potential benefits for the global fishing industry in a sustainable and predictable future. We have added security in our positioning as an add on to Vessel Monitoring Systems, and so a market creating innovation.
Commercially we have a clearer picture of our promotional strategy to raise TRACKIUU´s profile and get our customers to buy it. Including on how to enter difficult markets where tenders are not well advertised or are not public.

Financially the calculated projections show TRACKIUU being a successful project with good payoffs that will greatly benefit Trackwell as a company into the future.
Current methods for monitoring fishing cannot pick up the majority of IUU activity. This is primarily due to the sheer number of vessels requiring monitoring and the great distances over which they are spread.

Digital tracking as legally required for commercial fishing vessels through Mobile Tranceiver Units (MTUs) has greatly improved tracking ability but the sheer volume of data from this and other data sources such as fishing license information, vessel catch history logbooks, IUU history of a vessel, inspection reports from Port State Authorities, and satellite imagery data among many others, produces data overload.

A VMS is the current best solution to handling this digital overload as it provides a platform for the presentation of the different data sources.
TRACKIUU intends to take the logical next step of using machine learning algorithms to identify at risk vessels in real time by monitoring and combining the multiple data streams for telltale signs of IUU activity. It will be designed and marketed as an add on, taking the VMS data streams from the customers VMS and feeding the analysis back to the VMS user interface through a specific well known method (API-Application Programming Interface).

TRACKIUU will provide benefits to Regional Fisheries Management Organisations and Relevant National and International Fisheries Authorities in allowing timely and precise allocation of physical inspection resources through patrol boats, aeroplanes and port inspections to increase detection and enforcement measures against IUU and decrease its prevalence.

The main economic beneficiary of such actions will be fishing economies, that are tending to a science based approach to catch quotas to allow the highest sustainable yield from wild ecosystems. Inherent environmental benefits are the sustainable use of marine ecosystems and increased protection of marine parks and areas where fishing is prohibited.