The Ocean Bounty TV series has made a comeback, focusing on the innovations in New Zealand’s commercial seafood sector. The show, now in its fifth season, aims to shed light on the people, places, and practices within the industry. With the distractions of an election year and fisheries reforms, the series serves as a reminder to celebrate the positives amidst the challenges.
The team behind the show believes that it’s crucial to highlight the hard work and successes in the industry. Often, the focus tends to be on bad news, causing the positive developments to go unnoticed. Therefore, they urge viewers to take a moment and appreciate the tireless efforts put into fishing operations that not only feed people but also drive entrepreneurial and innovative activities.
In the upcoming season, The Ocean Bounty TV series will feature various stories showcasing the advancements in the commercial seafood sector. Here are some examples of the exciting developments discussed by a few individuals at SNZ (Seafood New Zealand):
1. The Deepwater Info Portal: The SNZ Deepwater Council is working on an online portal that will provide skippers and crew members with digital versions of essential information. This innovation aims to streamline operations and transition from paper-based to digital systems. The portal will offer targeted and easily accessible information based on the fishery a vessel is operating in. Developed in collaboration with Dragonfly Data Science, the portal is currently being tested on vessels before its full rollout.
2. AI for Reducing Black Petrel Bycatch: In an effort to minimize the bycatch of black petrels, an artificial intelligence (AI) tool is being utilized. The AI, developed by Dragonfly Data Science, works in conjunction with a camera system to identify black petrels and alert the crew. This timely intervention allows the crew to release the birds from the fishing lines, increasing their survival rate. The AI tool has demonstrated the ability to identify around 85% of seabird captures faster than a human reviewer.
3. Okains Bay Seafood’s Sustainable Approach: Okains Bay Seafood, founded by Greg Summerton, takes pride in its sustainable fishing practices. Greg’s crew uses the traditional Māori method of potting to catch ling, ensuring the sustainability of the fishery. The shift from longlining with hooks to potting has revolutionized the way they interact with seabirds, resulting in zero seabird bycatch rates. The enclosed pots prevent non-target fish, birds, and mammals from accessing the bait, making it an effective and low-emission method.
These examples are just a glimpse of the inspiring stories within the fishing industry. Seafood New Zealand encourages individuals to share more such stories that deserve recognition. They welcome submissions and invite anyone with valuable information to reach out via email at [email protected]
As the Ocean Bounty TV series returns, it continues to educate and entertain audiences by showcasing the ingenuity and dedication of those involved in New Zealand’s commercial seafood sector. By highlighting these stories, the series aims to create a more balanced narrative, appreciating the hard work, and celebrating the positive contributions made by the industry.