Exegesis Spatial Data Management


Development of Fishing Effort Toolkit

Client: Cefas

In 2010, exeGesIS undertook a project for Cefas to create a toolkit to analyse fishing effort in English and Welsh Inshore and Offshore waters. Further updates to the toolkit were undertaken in 2013-2014 to handle alterations to the source data and provide additional functionality.

Cefas have a responsibility to monitor the intensity of fishing activity. Data was collected using monitoring patrols that record any sightings of fishing vessels. To remove any observation bias from the sightings, GPS data was also collected showing the route followed by the patrol vessel. Cefas had an existing manual process that was used by a specialist to import the GPS tracks and vessel sightings from the Cefas monitoring vessels and undertake the analysis of standardised fishing effort in MapInfo.

Fishing Effort Map - TrawlingThe objective for this project was create a toolkit that would automate the processing steps so that non-technical users could undertake the analysis.

The specific aims of the Fishing Effort Toolkit were to:

  • produce a simple tool that automated the process for end users
  • allow users to configure the tool to use multiple
  • import GPS track data used by the monitoring vessels
  • import sighting data from standard spreadsheet
  • allow batch import of vessel tracks and sightings
  • standardise the calculations for each fisheries area
  • provide the option to export vessel counts
  • allow fishing effort to be analysed for one or multiple years
  • assess confidence in the fishing effort score based on observation effort
  • allow users to thematically map the outputs using pre-defined classifications

The Fishing Effort Toolkit was developed in MapBasic and added a custom menu to MapInfo that allowed users to configure the toolkit and undertake the required processing steps using user-friendly interfaces. The toolkit was optimised to use data from the preceding processing stage when available so that the processes could be run with minimal user input.

Further information from Claire Lush