Danish government supporting fishing drone program

Project aims to make the industry more effective and environmentally friendly

The cost of fuel accounts for up to 40 percent of the costs associated with running a fishing vessel (photo: iStock) The cost of fuel accounts for up to 40 percent of the costs associated with running a fishing vessel (photo: iStock)
October 9th, 2015 6:00 pm| by Philip Tees
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The Environment and Food Ministry is contributing 1.7 million kroner to a project in which water and airborne drones will be used to find shoals of fish with the aim of improving business for fishermen and reducing the environmental impact of the industry.

Eva Kjer Hansen, the environment and food minister, is optimistic about  what the project can achieve.

“There are many ways Danish fishermen can earn extra money. It’s not just about quotas, it’s also about fishing smarter,” she said.

“Using drones to look for fish is a really good example of how, with modern technology and good ideas, we can make the work more effective and at the same time benefit the environment.”

The cost of fuel accounts for up to 40 percent of the costs associated with running a fishing vessel and, depending on the vessel’s size, this can equate to 100,000 kroner per day at sea.

But as well as facilitating fuel savings, it is hoped the technology can play a role in reducing the practice of discarding unwanted catches by allowing the fishermen to identify the size of shoals before casting their nets. Rules prohibiting the disposal of unwanted catches are being phased in.