Skip to Main Content
Fisheries authorities and scientists agree that the management of fisheries is dependent on good quality data, and that such data is of critical importance in the light of declining fish stocks, worldwide. Historically, however, reliable data has been largely unavailable, due to a culture of protecting catch data amongst fishers, fishing companies and even formal state-run offices, and also because data collection was paper-based, which is unreliable, prone to error, and lacking in suitable controls for ensuring data quality. Electronic, real-time reporting of vessel activity is expected to overcome many of these deficiencies and the EU has published regulations requiring fishing vessels to electronically record and report fishing activities. Olfish Dynamic Data Logger is a software solution that has been developed by the South African company, OLRAC, in order to meet EU regulations and to provide the EU fishing fleet with an EU-compliant electronic logbook. The development project sought to meet EU requirements as well as to improve the likelihood of improved data quality through a number of innovative features that offer significant value to the fishing community. This paper discusses the project and the solution developed, as well as the lessons learnt in the development process.