What happens at Sea stays at Sea… or not!!

12 Sep 2017
Indah Rufiati

Time-lapse Camera Deployment as a tool to verify Small-scale handline fishers’ interaction with ETP (Endangered, Threatened and Protected) Species

Handline is one of fishing gears that is widely used by traditional fishermen in small scale tuna fisheries in Indonesia. It is considered to be a sustainable method of fishing. Fishermen use handlines to catch tuna as fish target, but there is still a risk of accidentally catching Endangered, Threatened, and Protected (ETP) species. Turtles, sharks, whales, dolphins, seabirds and manta rays are ecologically important ETP species that may sometimes be associated with tuna handline fishing. Therefore, there is a need for special monitoring of ETP interactions on handline fishing fleets. One of the MDPI strategies to address this need is by deploying a time-lapse camera on board as a form of electronic monitoring. This is a new approach which aims to overcome the difficulty associated with deploying human observers or expensive electronic monitoring on small scale vessels and its applicability is currently being tested in 5 MDPI sites in Eastern Indonesia.

Time-lapse cameras, or specifically the Brinno TLC200 time lapse camera, has the ability to capture images up to 1 photo every 1 second. The camera is equipped with a wide lens that can capture most of the ship’s deck area where fisherman catch fish and also the environment around the fishing vessel. The quality of the video recording depends on several things: the height of the wooden pole to which it is attached, the level of brightness during the fishing trip and the camera system settings.

The trial for time-lapse camera deployment was conducted in August 10 – 22 in Buru Utara and Seram Selatan, Maluku. MDPI team deployed time-lapse cameras in small-scale handline tuna fishing vessels. The time-lapse camera is mounted on a 1.5 meter wooden pole tied to the vessel body. The recording process started from 7 AM when fishermen prepare for fishing trip (loading the fishing trip supplies) until 7 PM when the fishermen landed in the shore and finished the fish unloading work.

Time-lapse camera on board. Photo credit: MDPI

During the trial, there were 4 fishing trips using the time-lapse cameras in Waprea and Wailihang Village (Buru Utara) and 2 fishing trips in Tanjung Village (Seram Selatan) where MDPI team joined the fishing trip as well to observe the time-lapse performance.

Footage preview from time-lapse camera. Photo credit: MDPI

On August 21, in 10 areas in Maluku and Sulawesi we have deployed the time-lapse onboard simultaneously. The data collected will be analyzed by a student soon to arrive from Wageningen University, Barbara Van der Ven 😊.The data will also be compared to port side monitoring of ETP species which MDPI does at each of its sites. We do hope that the data generated by the time-lapse camera can be used as information and consideration in the management of small-scale handline fisheries in the future. We are thrilled to kick off this new project, stay tuned for more updates from us!

As a side, the author of this piece, Teguh has just joined our team. He will be working very closely with the Time-lapse cameras. Welcome and happy to have you onboard!!

Writer: Wahyu Teguh Prawira

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