Turns to Technology to Sell NH-Caught Fish

Commercial fishing has been a vital component of New England’s economy for centuries. However, during the last decade, low-cost, imported seafood has displaced domestic seafood in many local markets. And recent federal regulations have resulted in reduction in New Hampshire’s total catch and its fleet. This has led fishermen to explore new ways of increasing profits, lest they go out of business. One local cooperative may have found the answer: better utilization of technology.

Two years ago, the Yankee Fishermen’s Cooperative began working with Red’s Best Seafood out of Boston to pilot a web-based system whereby fishermen can record their catch when they get into the harbor. Essentially, fishermen enter data on how much fish they caught, what species, when it was caught, and the quality of the fish into a handheld device. This data is logged in real-time and populates a database that local buyers can see. This not only facilitates the sale of fresh fish, but it has proven to be critical to monitoring the seafood’s quality as it passes from the fisherman to the distributer and ultimately to the final market where the fish has been sold.

Red, the current manager of the Yankee Fishermen’s Coop says that the system has not only saved them time and led to the creation of new markets, but it helps him to meet federal health and safety regulations with the ability to track the product as it changes hands. And none of this would have been possible if it were not for high speed internet that enables the immediate transfer of data over the web.