Precision Fish Harvesting Project

Today, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced five new projects with a total value of nearly $29 million, including the Precision Fish Harvesting Project. Katchi, a rural Nova Scotian company, will lead the project and is developing a SmartNet using herding and deterring technology and seeks to deploy uncrewed service vessels (USVs) to improve the efficiency of conventional trawl fishing.

The fully integrated solution uses hydrodynamic blocks on the top and bottom of the net to ensure the net remains open, replacing existing trawl doors and reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  The vessel’s depth sounder maps the seabed in advance of the net and communicates with the winches to automatically adjust cable payout. This enables the net to move up and down the water column to the desired depth specified by the fishers.  The system also ensures that the net does not come in contact with the seabed and instead remains close by hugging bottom contours features and avoiding obstacles.

Canadian designed and manufactured USVs, with innovative energy optimization technology, will scout for fish using hydroacoustic equipment that delivers information to vessels to reduce vessel search time.  Lights and bioacoustics will be used to ensure efficient capture of targeted species while simultaneously reducing by-catch.  The system will be tested on the MV Lery Charles, owned and operated by Scotia Harvest Inc.

With a total project value of nearly $3.3 million, the Ocean Supercluster will provide close to $1.6 million towards the project with the balance coming from project partners. Yarmouth-based Katchi has partnered with Scotia Harvest Inc. (Digby, NS), ABCO Industries (Lunenburg, NS), Rimot (Halifax, NS), Clearwater (Lunenburg, NS), DSA Ocean (BC), Rising Tide Bioacoustics (Halifax, NS), SafetyNet (Ireland), and MITACS (Halifax, NS).

This project encourages technology development and manufacturing in Atlantic Canada. Specifically, the adoption of this technology aims at increasing the profitability of the fishing industry which already feeds spin-off industries mainly located in rural communities throughout the region. This project is expected to directly create 19 new jobs over the course of the next two years.

Video Announcement:

About OSC
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 Ocean Supercluster has approved projects with a total value of more than $320 million which will deliver more than 100 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world.

Media Contact:
Nancy Andrews
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster


“Our government is ensuring our oceans and marine ecosystems remain clean and healthy for Canadians from coast to coast to coast. The Ocean Supercluster projects announced today will help us build a cleaner post-pandemic economy and achieve environmental sustainability on a global scale. Projects such as the one led by Katchi are taking innovation further, making lasting contributions and helping develop sustainable fishing solutions.” –  The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“This innovative Precision Fish Harvesting solution will help reduce impacts on aquatic species and serves as an excellent example of how Ocean Supercluster members are collaborating to deliver ocean solutions that address ocean health while also creating new economic opportunities for communities.” – Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

“This project is proof that we do not need to sacrifice economic growth for environmental sustainability. We are thankful for the opportunity that the OSC has given us and are extremely proud of our team and the partners that we have worked with over the last 2 years. We could not have re-imagined fish harvesting without everyone’s collaboration.” – Marc d’Entremont, Founder and CEO of Katchi

“Watching our local fishing industry feel the pressure of trying to catch a very select amount of certain species, while managing large repair and fuel bills, has highlighted the need to put more tools at their disposal. Our goal is to create a product that is worthy of the talent and experience they already have, to help them continue to deliver the best wild protein source in the world while ensuring its sustainability.” – Angie Greene, CPA CA, CFO of Katchi

“Nova Scotia is blessed with both an abundance of natural resources around its coasts and with innovative people and companies that strive to improve on harvesting them sustainably. Scotia Harvest is proud to be a part of that innovation within the province with our involvement in Katchi.” – Alain d’Entremont, President, Scotia Harvest Inc

“The blue economy is experiencing a rapid shift to uncrewed and autonomous technology. The USV (Uncrewed Surface Vessel) market alone is expected to be over $1bn by 2026. The Precision Fish Harvesting Project will see a Canadian-designed and manufactured USV support the optimization and sustainability of the fishing industry. As an advisor to ABCO, I am excited to see them incorporate decades of commercial vessel manufacturing experience in pursuit of a world class solution that will accelerate the competitiveness of some of Canada’s most important industries.” – Chris Huskilson, ABCO Industries

We are pleased to support this project as part of our ongoing commitment to developing new and innovative technology solutions that improve the sustainability and efficiency of our fishing operations.  We believe these innovations can have broad application and lead to meaningful advancements for the fishing industry. – Tony Jabbour, Vice President Fleet Operations, Clearwater Seafoods

“It has been an exciting to see the evolution of Katchi from an idea as a sketch to where they are today.  Ignite Atlantic looks forward to the future of Katchi and is thankful to be part of their growth and development over the past couple of years.  They are a forward-thinking company that balances solving real environmental and sustainability issues facing industry with viable commercial opportunities as an innovation-driven business in the seafood sector.” – Doug Jones, CEO, IGNITE Atlantic

“The importance of energy monitoring, prediction and optimization is becoming ever more important as crewed and uncrewed marine vessel fleets move to greener forms of propulsion. We are excited to work with such an innovative and talented group of companies to help enable such an important project for the global fishing industry, while at the same time advancing our vision to unlock the full value of batteries aboard marine vessels using software intelligence.” – Andrew Boswell, CEO Rimot Inc.