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Smart fisheries technologies for an efficient, compliant and environmentally friendly fishing sector
Deadline: Feb 14, 2017  

 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Energy Efficiency
 Horizon Europe

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Resource efficiency in the fishing sector and its improvement has many dimensions, including in particular extraction, scientific assessment of fish stocks and monitoring for scientific or surveillance purposes. While promising new technologies are being developed in several fields (e.g. information technology, new detection, monitoring and surveillance techniques, new materials, aerospace, etc.) the pace of their introduction in the fishing sector is far from optimal. It is generally assumed that fishing, control and data collection are under-performing, may lack accuracy, and are unnecessarily expensive. The extraction sector could largely benefit by improving cost-efficiency and compliance, and limiting its environmental impact by taking advantage of technological progress. Knowledge, monitoring, surveillance and assessment of resources could similarly be improved by using modern technologies, including for instance unmanned vehicles or drone-like devices. The challenge lies in identifying the possibilities and ways to improve the uptake of high-level technology throughout the fisheries value chain, and the possibilities of improving resource efficiency for fishing operations and the activities surrounding them (e.g. monitoring, data, knowledge).


The proposals should explore opportunities to increase the use of innovative technologies in all fisheries-related activities, including the extractive sector, the collection of data and information and the monitoring of compliance with the rules. Proposals should assess the innovative potential and applicability of new technologies in the fishing sector with the aim of avoiding unnecessary fish mortality, damage to other marine resources and ecosystems; improving energy efficiency; and increasing overall economic efficiency and social acceptability. The expected results should be directly applicable to important fisheries in all European seas. The participation of SMEs that will benefit from the intellectual property and/or from the commercial use of the project outcomes is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 6 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

To improve resource efficiency in the fishing sector, proposals should:

  • Identify existing technologies and their potential for use in the fishing sector, bring these to a readiness level that means they can be used by the fishing sector across the EU and promote their uptake by end users.
  • Improve the performance of fishing vessels in terms of resource efficiency, including effective use of resources for data collection and fish stock assessment.
  • Reduce the cost of marine monitoring.
  • Improve economic efficiency and profitability, avoiding increasing unnecessary fishing pressures and undermining sustainable resource use.
  • Involve the fishing sector in collecting evidence for implementing marine policies.
  • Improve compliance and reduce illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries.
  • Support the implementation of the EU Common Fisheries Policy and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
  • Improve the professional skills and competences of those working and being trained to work within the blue economy.

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