NetSenz Sensors Demonstrate Impressive Durability in Extensive Testing on the Croatian National Fishing Fleet

NetSenz sensors are compact yet powerful tools for monitoring fishing gear, equipped with long-lasting batteries designed to endure for years. Representing a significant leap in fishing activity monitoring, NetSenz does more than just track the location, speed, and heading of a fishing vessel. It provides detailed insights into the usage of each piece of fishing gear, such as nets and traps, offering Fisheries Monitoring Centers (FMC) a comprehensive view of fishing efforts. Recently, the effectiveness of these sensors was put to the test on a select group of vessels within the Croatian national fishing fleet. This targeted testing approach enabled a thorough evaluation of the sensors’ performance in real-world conditions, further demonstrating their utility in sustainable fishing practices.

Installed on the trawl doors (also known as otter boards) for testing purposes, the NetSenz sensors operated continuously for over six months in depths exceeding 100 meters. Upon recent inspection, despite the demanding conditions, the sensors were found in impeccable condition. This can be attributed to their robust plastic casing, specialized electronics tailored for marine environments, and an external sturdy stainless steel frame that shields them from impacts and other potential damage.

NetSenz sensors collect data that provide FMCs with detailed information on how and where fishing gear is being used. Notably, they log every depth alteration from the beginning to the end of each fishing session, creating a precise time-depth profile for the net’s movement. By combining the positional data of the vessel with the NetSenz time-depth profile the FMC can gain close to ground truth knowledge of where and when the fishing activities took place. This not only aids FMCs in managing marine resources more efficiently and sustainably but also prevent illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Furthermore, NetSenz will also serve as an official “license plate” of the fishing net. By mounting NetSenz onto the net, the NetSenz and the fishing net will be paired. The physical characteristics (eye size, width, height, etc.) describing the fishing net type will be registered into the database. This functionality will allow for monitoring whether the specific type of net is permitted to be used at that location during that time of year.

Historically, research on fishing vessel activities mostly relied only on Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data, which presented satellite-based information on position, speed, and direction. However, the only way to get closer to the ground truth of fishing effort and to avoid the high costs associated with hiring observers is to perform data fusion of VMS positional data with GearSenz and NetSenz data. Measuring actual gear soak times and depth profiles has never been easier!

In conclusion, the results of the mechanical durability testing of NetSenz sensors have been promising, with their robustness and reliability proving their usefulness in harsh marine conditions. These sensors hold the potential to revolutionize the Vessel Monitoring System, promoting more sustainable and efficient fishing practices and ultimately leading to a healthier marine ecosystem.

Scroll to Top