- PELADRONE: Digitally transforming Portuguese SME fisheries and coastal communities
A healthy ocean is essential for supporting life on the planet, regulating climates and sustaining multimillion-dollar industries. In Portugal, the fishing industry has long defined the livelihoods and economies of coastal communities, with approximately 90% of the industry comprised of small to medium-sized (SME) fisheries. However, SME fisheries are threatened by large scale fisheries with their increased investment in automation and new digital technologies, as well as battling with a reduction in fish biomass largely caused by ocean litter. The declining fish stock and increasing search time, cost and distance have led to a mass migration of younger generations to search better job opportunities in larger cities.
Against such a backdrop, the PELADRONE project aims to tackle three main challenges:
Decreasing competitiveness and sustainability of Portuguese SME fisheries
Increasingly threatened Portuguese marine ecosystems
Future livelihood of Portuguese coastal communities at great risk
With this in mind and the EEA and Norway Grants, the PELADRONE project is developing an AI-enabled, drone-based reconnaissance service solution in Portugal where AI and drone technology will be used to map fish stocks in coastal waters to allow fishermen to more competitively and sustainably locate, track, and catch pelagic fish but will also allow for more effective resource management and conservation.