Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announces $3M Fishing Smarter Not Harder Project improving conventional trawl operations

Today, alongside project partners, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) announced the $3 million Fishing Smarter Not Harder Project, led by the Northern Shrimp Research Foundation. In the project, the team is developing technology to bring near-real time images from the sea floor to the bridge to support decision making during trawling operations.

This project, part under the cluster’s first round of funding, answers the call to improve operations and meet regulatory requirements. The technology developed in the Fishing Smarter Not Harder Project reduces by-catch, avoids endangered species, and limit seabed impact. Included in the work is the development of an integrated Fishing Smarter Platform that includes data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence to aid in situational awareness, species identification and quantity characterization.

The Northern Shrimp Research Foundation is working with partner Nunavut Fisheries Association on the project. With a total value of $3 million, the OSC is providing $1.5 million to the project, with the balance coming from project partners.

This technology can apply to all trawl fisheries, including Greenland Halibut. This species generates about $100 million annually in revenue with a high profit margin to the Inuit in Nunavut and Nunavik communities. Beyond the individual benefits to license and quota holders, this technology holds the potential to transform stock assessment methodologies which can provide a more complete analysis of the stock status, reducing the high level of uncertainty as to the true status of these stocks.

“Through projects like this one, Canada’s Ocean Cluster is helping position our country as a leader in the fishing industry, benefiting us by creating great jobs, generating additional income, and becoming more competitive in the fishing sector.” – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“The Ocean Cluster, one of Canada’s five Global Innovation Clusters, continues to collaborate on key projects that are keeping Canada’s fishing sector competitive on the world stage while also directly benefiting our northern Canadian communities.” – Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and Member of Parliament for Halifax

“We are excited to announce the Fishing Smarter Not Harder Project that is developing technology to improve conventional trawl operations, contributing to a more sustainable fishing industry and creating benefits for northern communities.” – Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

“We believe that the technological innovations encompassed in this initiative will support our pursuit of key sustainability objectives including reduced fuel consumption, bycatch avoidance, and reduced seabed contact. This level of technological and financial risk could not have been contemplated without the support provided by the Ocean Supercluster.” – Bruce Chapman, Executive Director, Northern Shrimp Research Foundation

About Canada’s Ocean Supercluster
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is a pan-Canadian, industry-led transformative cluster focused on tackling some of the biggest challenges across ocean sectors through a collaborative program designed to accelerate the development and commercialization of globally relevant solutions, while also building a highly-capable, inclusive workforce. The OSC has approved 86 projects with a total value of more than $400 million which will deliver more than 130 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world.

Media Contact
Nancy Andrews
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster