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Tech-Driven Approaches to Fisheries Monitoring, Security and Sustainability

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The global demand for seafood continues to surge, necessitating effective and affordable strategies for monitoring catches to ensure long-term sustainability. Recent findings from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) highlighted that in 2020, wild capture fisheries production reached a staggering 90.3 million tonnes, valued at US$ 141 billion. Despite these numbers, critical gaps persist in understanding the specific species and quantities being captured.

Dr Madeline Green, from the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), emphasises the necessity for comprehensive data regarding the species composition in catches. Traditionally, monitoring methods have been arduous and time-intensive, relying on logbooks, onboard observers, patrol vessels, and tagging programmes.

However, a breakthrough has emerged in the form of a novel, cost-effective technique pioneered by Dr Green. This innovative method leverages DNA sequencing, akin to forensic crime-solving methods, to identify fish species from samples extracted from brine water in fishing vessels’ holding tanks or freezers.

Dr Green’s team successfully devised specialised techniques to extract and identify DNA traces from brine water, accurately identifying nearly all but the rarest species present in the holding tanks. Thanks to support from Oceankind, these techniques are undergoing refinement and scaling up to broaden their application.

The ultimate objective is to implement this molecular monitoring technology across entire fisheries, significantly enhancing data collection to understand catch compositions, including illegal catches. Dr Green stresses the pivotal role of this technology in elucidating the impact of fisheries on ecosystems, citing firsthand experiences from international fisheries meetings where data scarcity hindered informed decision-making.

Highlighting a pressing concern, Dr Green notes the lack of information about the sharks caught in the Indian Ocean Tuna Fishery, with half of the bycatch shark species unidentified. This knowledge gap poses challenges in assessing the conservation status of these species.

While future adaptations of this technique may include assessing catch quantities, Dr Green’s primary focus remains on species identification. Resolving these identifications will significantly enhance ecosystem-based management practices and facilitate informed decision-making by providing crucial data on fishery impacts.

Crucially, these low-tech, cost-effective methods offer a promising solution, especially for countries with limited resources for high-tech monitoring. Dr Green envisions that their findings will serve as more than just data; they will be instrumental for policymakers and fisheries managers in shaping sustainable fisheries for the future.

Dr Green expresses optimism in the transformative potential of their work, underscoring its role in shaping policies and managing fish populations to ensure ecological health and sustainable fisheries.

Aligned with Dr. Green’s research, ANSTO spearheaded an enlightening virtual workshop as part of the Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA) initiative. Continuing the momentum in bolstering food security in the Asia-Pacific, ANSTO facilitated an illuminating online workshop under the Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA) project.

This endeavour focused on combatting food fraud using nuclear technology (CFF), aiming to safeguard the region’s food supply chains from fraudulent activities. This platform targets the prevention of fraud across eight Pacific member states, envisioning a strengthened food supply chain.

The workshop convened representatives from FNCA member states, fostering collaborative efforts and knowledge sharing. At the heart of the project lies the ambition to create a robust food-provenance technology platform, fortified by interconnected data systems.

Beyond merely addressing fraud concerns, the project holds broader implications, emphasising the nurturing of scientific expertise and capabilities within participating nations. Specifically, it aims to harness nuclear analysis techniques to tackle the complexities of food traceability in international trade.

This innovative approach stands as a testament to the ongoing advancements in leveraging cutting-edge technology, as seen in Dr Green’s pioneering work with DNA sequencing for fisheries monitoring. Both initiatives underscore the crucial role of technology in ensuring sustainability and security across critical sectors.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit www.ibm.com