This paper, which discusses a preliminary development of a microcomputer-based navigation system for the fishing industry, was presented at the Oceanology International Congress at Brighton in March. Dr Coates is at the University College of North Wales, Mr Dye and Mr Knox with the Sea Fish Industry Authority.
The history of the sea-fishing industry is one in which success has only been achieved at the price of experience, painfully gathered as a consequence of abortive fishing trips or damaged gear. A detailed knowledge of conditions on the sea-bed, in particular preferred fishing areas and sea-floor obstacles such as wrecks or sand-pinnacles, is clearly of paramount importance in maintaining commercial viability. At the present time, for the requirements of the UK Sea-Fishing Fleet, such specialist information is available in the form of the widely used ‘Kingfisher’ chart series. With the advent of cheap, yet powerful microcomputer systems, the possibility now exists to create a data-base version of the Kingfisher Charts, thus offering the advantages of rapid updating of information and convenient wheelhouse presentation of user-selected chart features by means of a video monitor.