Republished from Radio New Zealand, 8 May 2018

An online reporting tool for fisheries management is gaining popularity in the Pacific, the Pacific Community (SPC) says.

Scenery of the fishing port Photo: mtaira/123RF

OnBoard is free software developed by SPC which works on smart phones and tablets.

It improves the speed and accuracy with which boat captains can record their daily catch and upload data for fisheries managers to access.

SPC data analyst Andrew Hunt said traditional paper recording, which was still widely used, took a lot of time to process and was prone to errors.

Since OnBoard’s release last year there had been growing interest from Pacific countries for it be used on boats operating in their waters, Mr Hunt said.

“We have had nearly a hundred trips that have been reported electronically. Which is quite a good amount considering how difficult it is to get these tablets onto the boats,” he said.

“When we look at the data I think some of the positional information is more accurate because it can use the GPS onboard the tablet. And we have less problems with log sheets that can’t be interpreted.”

OnBoard was being used on boats in New Caledonia, Fiji, the Cook Islands and French Polynesia, Mr Hunt said.

The SPC was also working on translating the interface, currently available in English and French, into Chinese and other languages.