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The SLX+ Buoy, or ECO buoy, is the Most Sustainable Fishing Device (DSF) on the market

The Spanish tuna fleet will deploy Satlink technology in the three main oceans to boost fishing selectivity

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Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 01:00 (GMT + 9)

  • The national fleet, one of the most technologically advanced in the world, continues to pave the way worldwide to reinforce the sustainability of its activity
  • The 'SelecTuna' Project will allow the deployment of more than 1,500 Satlink technology buoys to optimize the selectivity of captures of target species, improving sustainable exploitation.
Madrid - The Spanish tuna fleet, one of the most technologically advanced in the world, launches the 'SelecTuna' project, a pioneering initiative worldwide that will allow the deployment of more than 1,500 smart buoys from the Satlink technology in the three oceans in which catches tropical tuna (Atlantic, Pacific and Indian). Its objective is to increase the selectivity of fishing, thus optimizing the captures of species whose exploitation is sustainable and avoiding the capture of the most vulnerable ones.

During the two hours around dawn, the SLX+ buoy takes soundings every minute and creates a graph to report what is happening below it.
This collaboration agreement, signed between the Organization of Associated Producers of Large Freezer Tuna Vessels (OPAGAC) and Satlink, is part of the activities and initiatives of the OPAGAC Production and Marketing Plan for the year 2024, and its purpose is to promote innovation and optimize the technology to refine the discrimination between tropical tuna species, adapting it to the different oceanographic contexts.
The selective smart buoy, a pioneering development by Satlink, has a double echo sounder system and acoustic technology unique on the market, which provides it with the ability to differentiate between tropical tuna species: on the one hand, skipjack tuna, and, on the other hand, another, the yellowfin and the bigeye. The 'SelecTuna' project will be key to improving discrimination between the latter two, yellowfin and bigeye, thanks to the improvement of the algorithms, contrasted with intensive sampling. This information will allow the Spanish fleet to focus on its target species, favoring the conservation of stocks of sensitive species and increasing their efficiency, by reducing fishing effort and generating considerable savings in time, resources, fuel and carbon footprint.
Furthermore, and thanks to the collaboration of the fleet and its field work, the project will allow expanding the collection of information and data on the ground to assess the performance of the buoys in different oceanographic contexts and real operating conditions.
Adaptability to oceanographic and operational conditions
With the 'SelecTuna' project, Satlink will improve its discrimination technology between tropical tuna species, by collecting and analyzing the echo sounder estimates obtained by the buoys and the data reported by the fleet, as well as its subsequent adaptation, in real time. and in cases where necessary, to the oceanographic and operational conditions of each region. The data collected will also allow the company to contemplate other potential technological developments.
'SelecTuna' will also increase knowledge about the biology, behavior and distribution of tropical tuna populations, as well as provide reliable and quality data for the development of abundance indices carried out by different scientific institutions and implemented by Organizations. Regional Fisheries Organizations (ORP), promoting decision-making based on scientific data.
According to Julio Morón, managing director of OPAGAC, “the commitment to improve our fishery, whose origins are in the 60s of the last century, has sought to have the most avant-garde mechanisms to optimize and control our activity and guarantee that our catches They are the result of transparent, sustainable and responsible fishing. This project is one more step in that same line, integrating the most advanced solutions for the sustainability of fishing activity.”
For his part, for Faustino Velasco, president of Satlink, “it is a satisfaction to collaborate once again with the Spanish fleet, a world reference in the application of new technologies in the fishing sector to guarantee ethical and sustainable practices with resources, the ecosystem and its workers. 'SelecTuna' is a perfect example of our commitment to the development of technological solutions that contribute to the sustainability of the oceans and fisheries management, by promoting the protection of resources, the improvement of scientific knowledge and the optimization of fishing operations. the fleet".


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