20 Jun 2017

New app for coastal fish identification in Pacific launched

9:15 am on 20 June 2017
Both juvenile and adult snapper gather in the marine reserve around Goat Island near Leigh in New Zealand.

Juvenile and adult snapper. Photo: 123RF

A Pacific research organisation has developed a new app for identifying fish in the region, in a bid to improve management of the resource.

The Pacific Community has just released PacFishID, an app which draws on data previously used by fisheries officers, but now opened to a wider digital audience.

The group's Fisheries Information Officer, Aymeric Desurmont, said the coast had been overlooked because of the focus on policing offshore fisheries.

"Coastal fisheries is very difficult to manage because there are so many species concerned so once again the very first step we think is make sure that you can correctly identify the species and have a management plan that takes into account that these are different species," he said.

Last year the group released the Tails app, which collects catch data from fisheries and last month was part of a partnership with conservation groups to establish real-time monitoring.