Bathymetric information helps fishermen identify seafloor structure associated with high bycatch. FCN members committed to research and stewardship use Nobeltec software while fishing to collect bathymetric date of the seafloor off Southeast Alaska. The Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association (ALFA) then complies that data, combines it with existing multi-beam sonar data and translates it into user-friendly formats compatible with laptops and smartphones. The information is available to participating FCN members.
Combined with the bycatch data, the bathymetry maps assist longline fishermen with effectively fishing target species while controlling bycatch. Salmon trollers also use the maps to fish effectively near pinnacles and reefs without contacting the seafloor or losing gear. ALFA also shared the maps with Alaska Department of Fish & Game to help the department plan their rockfish stock assessment surveys.
To date, the amount of data collected has challenged the capacity of the Nobeltec system, but ALFA is working with Nobeltec staff to create a base-layer from FCN data that can be further enhanced by additional multi-beam and vessel bathymetric data collection on each vessel.