Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


FiDaCaMS Report Summary

Project ID: 735732

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FiDaCaMS (Fisheries Data Capture and Management System)

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2017-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The Problem today
One of the major issues across the fisheries sector is that increasingly stringent management controls are being imposed requiring clear & hard evidence to support management decisions. In the absence of such evidence, the precautionary approach is adopted creating restrictions for commercial fishing activities amongst others. At the same time, the resources available to gather the evidence centrally are being reduced thus widening the gap between the need and availability of evidence.
The problem today is that there are too many disparate systems available for the fisheries sector; none offer a complete solution for the market, thus forcing operators to adopt diverse tools from an array of suppliers. This results in fragmented information and cumbersome management leaving the authorities struggling to cope.

Our Solution – Issues being addressed
The FiDaCaMS project was designed with a clear focus to develop an innovative system that enables fishermen to collect accurate and reliable fisheries and environmental related data in an automated and highly efficient form and rendering it available through an online platform in multiple formats across diverse media, thus facilitating the industry in conforming to the regulations imposed by the EU and National Policy.
The aim of the system is to offer an affordable solution for the fishing industry to address various issues within the sector and contribute towards the Member States’ requirements imposed by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The result would be essential in satisfying the reporting obligations of the Member States as set out in the Data Collection Framework to support the decision making process of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Why is it important for society
The main innovative aspect that the FiDaCaMS project will bring to the Blue Growth sector lies in the concept of creating an integrated system. The system, centred on a cloud based data collation and processing platform, provides smart tools to collect relevant data from multiple sources, conceived to match the requirements of the diversity present within fishing fleets, and offers various specialised user interfaces accessible through a broad spectrum of devices using the latest available technologies.
The FiDaCaMS project specifically addresses the challenges being faced by the European Fishing Industry as it will provide a one-stop shop solution catering for the specific requirements for various stakeholders. The aim is to provide a fully integrated modular and easily customizable solution designed to alleviate the data collection tasks burdened on the fishers, landing sites and fish markets and make available all the necessary tools to governments, authorities, the supply chain, NGOs and the scientific community to consume the information generated. The fishermen, fish markets and landing sites are pivotal to the success of the project as their involvement is necessary for the essential data to be collected with the scientific community playing the crucial role of elaborating and interpreting the collated data to provide the technical basis for future policies relating to the marine environment.

The overall objectives
The overall objective is to provide a complete and fully integrated yet modular solution that satisfies the requirements of the fishermen, fish market operators, authorities and Governments and place FiDaCaMS in a unique position to garner a tangible competitive advantage on the market.

The project will achieve the following major objectives
• a solution for the fishing sector that provides an ergonomic, automated and integrated functionality that encompasses the various complex processes of the fishing industry
• Provides all the data requirements of the fishing industry from the fishing vessel right to the consumer, fulfilling the authorities’ monitoring and control requirements and reporting obligations
• Enables fishermen to collect accurate and reliable fisheries and related environmental data in an automated and highly efficient form for multiple purposes
• A solution that consists of a number of elements that together will provide a complete, end-to-end solution for the fishing industry
• Simplifies the data collection, transformation and reporting processes by focusing on maintaining a seamless integration between the various components, process automation and delivering the required functionality and information in a user friendly and timely fashion. This will alleviate the operational burden of the users improving productivity that translates into monetary savings

The project would facilitate the automated collection and propagation of fisheries and marine environmental related data that would contribute towards the Member States’ requirements imposed by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive which is an initiative currently endorsed by the EU’s Blue Growth Strategy. Such data would also be essential in satisfying the reporting obligations of Member States as set out in the Data Collection Framework which ultimately, through the elaboration and analysis by the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF), will go on to support the decision making process of the Common Fisheries Policy.
The uptake of our solution will improve productivity and lower operating costs throughout the fisheries data value chain and consequently promote growth in the sector.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the phase 1 project the consortium undertook a series of activities and conducted a profound analysis of the FiDaCaMS solution.

A technical assessment was carried out examining the functional and user experience aspect by evaluating the feedback from the testing program and engaging potential users to acquire advice as to additional functionality and procedures that may be required for specific scenarios. An internal technical evaluation was also executed in order to assess whether the selected technologies, architecture and methodologies allow the system to achieve the required performance and permit for effective system maintenance and scalability both in terms of the offered functionality and architecture.
The tasks involved within this stage included the following,
1. A Technical Assessment report and development plan which entailed the following:
1.1. An evaluation on the feedback received from the various users of the current components in relation to functionality, ease of use and performance of the system and hardware.
1.2. A review on the on board hardware hub and sensors’ performance
1.3. An evaluation of the on board communications systems with regards to usage and costs
1.4. A study on the system performance indicators, monitored during the testing program, to identify bottlenecks and/or any infrastructural or technology related issues
1.5. A technical report describing the proposed FiDaCaMS solution to apply corrections and include enhancements
2. A detailed marketing and communication plan including pricing model and IPR analysis for IPR protection. This required the following tasks:
2.1. An in-depth market analysis encompassing major European fish producing countries, the Mediterranean region and other regions of interest.
2.2. An assessment on regulatory aspects in relation to the fishing industry and FTO in the target markets. The strategy comprised of the following actions:
2.2.1. IP and Knowledge Protection Ensuring that knowledge and IP is protected internally and externally within each individual consortium member Establishing the background IP and evaluating the IP developed during the project to determine the method of protection
2.2.2. Freedom to Operate An initial evaluation of the target markets to ensure FiDaCaMS does not breach established property rights or patents
2.2.3. Legal and Regulatory Aspects Examination of the current regulatory context from a European and target market perspectives to align the solution with current legislation and regulations.
2.2.4. Exploitation of Results Creation of plans to manage and protect IP and maximise its exploitation
2.3. A detailed Business Model which includes the various value propositions targeting the multiple customer profiles, distribution and partner networks to access the target markets, cost structure and revenue streams
2.4. A detailed individual companies’ business strategy to assess the impact of the commercialization of the product within each company.
3. A detailed cost / revenues, plan of capital requirements and detailed financial and market risk evaluation report which includes the following:
3.1. A detailed financial forecasts and financing requirements
3.2. A financing plan to source the project's capital requirements together with objectives required for phase 2 to implement the proposed FiDaCaMS project

During this phase the FiDaCaMS project moved from TRL6 to TRL7 where the project was deployed and demonstrated in an operational environment with the Government of Malta and the Government of Wales. The feedback received was very positive and highlights the product’s potential to address many of the issues being faced by Government authorities. In addition, the information provided by our early adopters has assisted us in improving our offering.

In addition to live testing trials conducted with both Maltese and Welsh Governments, we also conducted a number of interviews utilizing a structured questionnaire to gather views from the key industry personnel on the availability of fisher generated data pertinent to the needs of the individuals and businesses. The survey was carried out for the consortium to gain a clear understanding of the current and future needs giving the consortium a clear picture of the market requirements. Respondents were sought from across the industry representing all the main “Stakeholders” which included: Fishermen, Fleet operators, Fish Production Organisations, Industry Representative’s, Processor, Retail and Sales, Management Authorities, Scientists and NGO’s. The information provided by the various stakeholders has assisted us in improving our offering and its go-to market mechanism.

Results achieved so far
Through the tests and surveys conducted it clearly showed that the majority of the stakeholders are willing to pay to access the data and information they require for their businesses. The survey also highlighted that the current products available only deliver part of the evolving requirements. In most cases, the process to collate the data is cumbersome, costly and difficult to integrate resulting in disjointed and fragmented high maintenance solutions. The FiDaCaMS solution simplifies the data collection, transformation and reporting processes by focusing on maintaining a seamless integration between the various components, process automation and delivering the required functionality and information in a user friendly and timely fashion. This alleviates the operational burden of the users improving productivity that translates into monetary savings.
The key messages received from the feedback on the current version of the FiDaCaMS solution where as follows:
• Exceptionally user friendly
• Appears unique and novel in its capabilities and visionary
• Will solve a range of analytical and data issues
• Cost affective and fits EMFF objectives
• Has potential to address many of the issues being faced by the local authorities and the adaptability to respond to new challenges as they arise
• Improves access to information about the Fishing industry
• Provides smart tools to collect relevant data from multiple sources, it fits the operation rather than tries to change it.
• Provides fishermen various operational improvements and a novel view of their business
• Excited by collaborative functionality
• Enthusiasm in the trial of the product with a view to adoption
• Offers benefits to all the stakeholders and therefore makes adoption easier
• The solution offers empowerment and this is considered very important
• Requests for further functionality
• All parties involved indicated willingness to pay subject to suitable pricing model

With the feedback received being so positive, we are now even more confident about the potential of the product both in terms of commercial benefits and the benefits the fishing industry will attain. The market study clearly illustrated that there is a demand for our solution and the competitor analysis performed demonstrated clear advantages of our solution. The consortium now remain focused on the goal of implementing FiDaCaMS based on the revised business plan and proceed to the next funding period to fulfil our objectives of having one complete solution for the Fishing Industry.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The fisheries industry has been experiencing a steady growth globally in terms of both consumption and production. Forecasts indicate that the trend is that this growth will continue in the years to come. FAO established that the average global per capita fish consumption stood at 19.7 kg in 2013 and preliminary estimates indicate that consumption registered in 2014 and 2015 will be in excess of 20kg. Production has been growing at a steady pace and has increased from around 100 million tonnes in 1990 to 167 million tonnes in 2014. Aquaculture has had a constant growth of nearly 6% year-on-year over the past 6 years whilst the Capture sector maintained a stable production of circa 90 million tonnes annually. The number of fishing vessels globally was estimated at 4.6 million in 2014 with 85% of these being under 12 meters in length.
In Europe, statistics reveal that over the last few years both production and consumption have been on the increase and, whilst fleet sizes have decreased steadily, the overall economic performance of the industry has been improving attaining 6.8 billion Euros in revenues in 2013. Gross profits have been on the rise from an average of 14% in 2012 to 19% in 2013 and an estimated 23% in 2014.

Notwithstanding the economic results, from an operational perspective, the market is facing arduous challenges brought on by fleet over-capacity and over fishing which prompted the European Community to implement restrictions on catches and fishing techniques to safeguard stocks and increased monitoring and control of the fishing fleets. In this setting, the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) focuses on the sector’s sustainability and on offering a qualitative product to consumers amongst others. To this end, the policy implements legislation that fosters improved data collection to serve scientific advisory efforts, management and control activities and end-to-end traceability.

The emerging scenario requires fishers to perform ever more complex data collection activities that could adversely affect the fishing effort. Member states have the onus to perform data collection and aggregation processes and monitoring and control operations that, in an environment where the data arrives from multiple sources and across different channels resulting in disjointed information, make the task of collimating the data both time consuming and resource hungry.

In order to solve such problems, the consortium aim to have a fully integrated system, bringing new data collection tools to the market at an affordable price and providing users with tailored data sharing and reporting requirements
The FiDaCaMS project has represented an opportunity in the Blue Growth Sector due to the potential of the solution. The project addresses the European and Global markets since it offers an innovative solution with disruptive potential having a number of advantages within the Fishing industry:
• Fishing vessels will save time in registering the catch on board and weighing when landed and will encompass improved operation efficiency and marketing of the catch with the potential of increasing the product prices.
• The vessels operators will also benefit from better science and subsequent management from near real time data sharing. There will be significant reputational advantages for the fishing vessels as their valued role as data collectors will be realised.
• Fishermen will also benefit by being integral to the process of evidence gathering.
• Fish markets and landing sites will also save time at landing and in addition, they will have visibility of what is going to be brought in allowing them to anticipate sales and improved the efficiency of the supply chain. The improved traceability of the product will secure or in some cases open new markets.
• Government entities and authorities will secure a number of benefits, for example: monitoring and control of the catch, fish landings and fish market activities, marine planning, better science policy and management and facilitating compliance to EU regulations. A robust and fully integrated data collection system will allow authorities to adopt a more risk based approach to enforcement and reduced their costs.
• Scientific communities will benefit from having complete, consistent, precise and reliable information about the marine population and environmental conditions.
• Citizens will benefit from having sustainable marine production, visibility of the supply chain, including complete traceability and food security.

Due to the numerous benefits, the FiDaCaMS Project will significantly improve productivity and lower operating costs throughout the fisheries data value chain, thus generating more business and sales and promote growth in the blue economy.

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