Esri’s digital mapping system to protect fish stocks

Digital mapping specialist Esri Ireland said its system is now used by Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Irish sea angling community to help safeguard fish populations and protect marine ecosystems.

Esri’s ArcGIS system supports the Irish Marine Recreational Angling Survey (IMREC), which aims to estimate catches by sea anglers in Ireland.

Up to 250,000 recreational sea anglers are active along Ireland’s 3,000km coastline each year.

Esri’s Survey123 app allows anglers across Ireland to collect and upload real-time information from any device about the fish they catch and release.

This information is then automatically transferred to a shared repository, called ArcGIS Hub.

There it can be viewed by anglers and monitored by Inland Fisheries Ireland to identify species distribution patterns, volumes and weights of fish caught and estimated catch rates.

Whether they are shore anglers, small boat anglers or charter boat anglers, each member has access to a personalized dashboard where they can track their own fishing contributions and success.

Schalk Van Lill, Customer Success Manager at Esri Ireland, said its GIS solution has provided Inland Fisheries Ireland with a feasible and affordable way to capture additional data to complement other data collected for the EU.

“Citizen science like this provides wide spatial coverage all around the Irish coastline, allowing Inland Fisheries Ireland to efficiently comply with requirements. The solution can be easily scaled to accept increasingly large data downloads. more participants, allowing Inland Fisheries Ireland to expand the plan over time,” he said.

William Roche, research manager at Inland Fisheries Ireland, said ArcGIS will enable him to recruit fishermen as citizen scientists and collect the large volume of data he needs for European and national reporting.

“With more anglers collecting data, we will be able to get a better picture of the state of fish stocks off the coast of Ireland, especially for anglers,” he added.

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