Fish Market App Connects Fishermen to Buyers, Reduce Catch Waste

fishermen on dock photo

Photo by notsogoodphotography via Flickr CC

For fishermen, it can be a challenge to know just how much of your catch will have buyers when you haul it back to the docks. And for Italian fishermen, the problem is especially difficult in summer as vacationers make the market less predictable. To help fishermen bring in appropriate catches, Italy's University of Bari has created a "private cloud" application that connects fishermen out on their boats to buyers on shore. They can auction off their catch as they bring it in, and anything they can't get a good price for they can throw back. Could cloud computing be a key for more sustainable fishing?Smart Planet writes, "The university has essentially created an auction service that fisherman can access via touchscreens installed on their fishing boats. As fisherman pull in their nets, they can enter information about the particulars of what they are hauling in. If they don't think they'll be able to earn a reasonable price for their catch, they can throw it back. If they find a buyer, they can prepare the fish for pick up when they reach the dock, saving time on the return trip. Bari fisherman handle an average of 100 thousand tons of fish per year, so the application can sustainably cut waste."

Similar cloud computing applications have been drawn up for local winemakers and even for smoothing out traffic flow. Private cloud services such as this can make communities and industries function more smoothly, and in the case of fishing, make seafood potentially more sustainable.

"This is all heading toward making life easier," says Bruce Otte, senior marketing manager with IBM's cloud computing initiative. "Self-service and self-management are the keys."

The ability to know what to bring in for the day can spare a lot of species from being overfished and just wasted. While true sustainable fishing still leans heavily on ecologically friendly fishing methods and keeping an eye on fish stocks -- and not numbers of buyers -- to regulate how much to bring in, applications for cloud technology like this are inspiring.

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