TaraGoFish! is a multi-purpose gadget for fisherfolks that helps them safely venture into marine waters using GNSS and positioning technologies.
Numerous cases in the Philippines have reported missing fishermen due to the collision of small-scale fishing boats to larger cargo vessels in choppy waters. One reason for these accidents is that small-scale fishermen communities have no access to proper tracking and communication devices to ensure their safety. For instance, a news report published in June 2020 involved a collision of a Hong Kong vessel that crashed a Filipino fishing vessel, which left 14 people missing during the incident (Source). This is because large scale commercial ships do not see the “bangka” (boat) of small scale fishermen in their Automatic identification system (AIS) radar. Even if these small-scale fishermen were seen through any physical means, it would be too late for the larger cargos to shift their course to avoid collision.
With the help of TaraGoFish, local fishermen are now present on the AIS map and would have an affordable multipurpose handheld device that they can put in their boat. Furthermore, this device can warn the fishermen of a possible collision and also alert the Philippine Coast Guard of an emergency.
The TaraGoFish device would include the SAR Beacon which will transmit real time position data to the Philippine Coast Guard wherein it will be connected into the AIS database for collision detection. Additionally, the fishermen can also use this SAR Beacon to directly alert for an emergency.
With that, TaraGoFish adds two layers of protection to the fishermen. First, it aims to avoid the collision in the first place through the connection into the AIS system and proximity detection. Second, if there is an emergency, it also includes an emergency button that will alert the Philippine Coast Guard of an accident.
First, GNSS signals will be used to send messages from the fisherman boat to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) during an emergency situation. The PCG can also alert nearby fisherman boats nearby for help. After the PCG receives the signal, a message will be sent back to the endangered fishermen ensuring that there will be help soon.
Through triangulation, GNSS signals can locate the exact location of fisherman boats and their proximity to other fellow boats. The nearby boats notified during an emergency will be identified through this proximity calculation. Additionally, position data from different GNSS or AIS will be used to combine the position data of larger shipping vessels and these smaller shipping vessels. After combining the data, proximity will be calculated real time to alert both the larger and smaller fishing vessels of a possible collision and allow them to shift its course way in advance.
Galileo’s interoperability with other GNSS constellations can help in communicating with AIS of larger vessels. Additionally, Galileo’s free of charge open service allows for a low cost and affordable way to track the position of these small vessels. Lastly, Galileo’s data authentication can help ensure that there are no malicious signals that aim to distort position data.
TaraGoFish primarily appeals to the wide customer base of fisherfolks in the archipelagic country of the Philippines. As of 2018, over 900,000 Filipinos are engaged in capture fishing and most of them are using traditional, low-cost techniques (Source). They usually venture to the seas in groups with at most 8 small fishing vessels attached to a parent ship.
Despite its high estimated market price of 10,000 pesos, a TaraGoFish device might be one of the most economical choices for those engaged in the fishing industry. This is because only the parent ship needs to be equipped with TaraGoFish to ensure the safety of the entire group. For example, if there are 20 fisherfolks in a fishing expedition, they would only need to spend 500 pesos individually to buy TaraGoFish—a device that has an estimated shelf life of 10 years.
What TaraGoFish offers to fisherfolks is simple: a safety mechanism that utilizes modern technologies to protect themselves from maritime dangers in over 10 years with a one-time 500 peso purchase.
Figure 1. Customer segmentation
There are three main customer groups for TaraGoFish: government, companies, and private fisherfolks. Government agencies would tend to buy in bulk and strictly adhere to market prices to standardize the technology being used by its personnels. On the other hand, companies would be more negotiable in terms of partnerships and prices to maximize profitability for both sides in the long-run. Lastly, private fisherfolk groups could only buy occasionally, but they have the largest potential to market TaraGoFish by word of mouth.
With an initial number of 900,000 fisherfolks in the Philippines and a 10,000-peso market price, the total addressable market (TAM) of TaraGoFish shows great promise. If only one device is needed per 20 individuals, there would be 45,000 groups that could buy TaraGoFish. Multiplying this number to the initial market price: there is a 450 million-peso TAM for this project.
TaraGoFish is a developed positioning system which uses the interoperability of GNSS and AIS. It aims to fasten the safety of smaller fishing vessels from maritime emergencies such as boat-to-boat collisions. Using an EPIRB GNSS module and the introduction of interoperability between multiple sources for positioning data, the presence of smaller fishing vessels in the radar of different vessels would be created.
The target user of TaraGoFish are the smaller local fishing community of the Philippines, specifically those who do not have access to positioning devices. These fishing folks are usually managed by bigger scale groups like government organizations, fishing companies, and private groups. Such customer groups will handle the transaction and distribution of the TaraGoFish product.
The objective of TaraGoFish is to provide maritime safety to small fishing vessels that lack access to positional devices. The central innovation of the product is the integration between the GNSS and AIS and other positional data sources. This innovation gives the product its edge over other AIS systems available to vessels. Additionally, the estimated price of 10,000 PHP (200 USD) of the developed product is lower compared to other AIS systems available, with the lowest estimated price of 25,000 PHP (500 USD) (Source). This difference in price would fit the accessibility and needs of the smaller-scale fishermen.
TaraGoFish provides a more accessible alternative of positioning technologies for smaller vessels to create their presence in the radar of other vessels. This project fills in the gap that industry-level gadgets cannot provide in terms of economical choice. Fishermen have little benefit on excessively advanced features that show no practicality in the seas.
First would be obtaining the position data from the different sources (Galileo, AIS, etc). Then, these position data would be plotted on a Geographic Information System (GIS) software wherein analysis of proximity between all data points will be done. The danger range is determined by multiple factors like the velocity, turning radius, etc. If these danger ranges intersect, an alarm will be set to notify the smaller and larger vessel (through AIS) to change its course.
In order to ensure the accuracy and validity of the positions (mainly the latitude and longitude), the OS-NMA feature of Galileo will be used.
In sending the emergency signal, the Search and Rescue (SAR) service will be used to allow for a quick emergency positioning signal to nearby fishermen and the Philippine Coast Guard. Additionally, the Return Link Service (RLS) feature will be used for the feedback signal which will lower the stress levels of the endangered fishermen.
As for the positioning data, the SAR beacon will be used to send the raw live position data of these small vessels which will be combined with the raw live position data from the large vessels. These data include the latitude, longitude, altitude, and time.
The TaraGoFish module uses the standard GNSS device that transmits signals to satellites about the local fisherfolk’s location. With our use of interoperability of the AIS to GNSS, we are able to put the local fisherfolk on the map in the AIS of large commercial ships. This product appeals to the authorities, especially the PCG, to provide safety and security for small-scale fisherfolk.
Figure 2. Sample AIS of cargo ship without implementation of TaraGoFish.
Figure 3. Sample AIS of cargo ship with implementation of TaraGoFish.
The TaraGoFish team is composed of young and passionate individuals from the Philippines that has a diverse background to effectively address the Galileo Hackathon challenges: