EM4FISH Industry Focus: Archipelago

The below article originally appeared in Em4.fish on March 30th 2021 and can be found here:

BY PHILLIP MEINTZER

Archipelago is an electronic monitoring (EM) service provider based in Victoria, Canada, with offices across British Columbia, Australia, the United States, and Norway. EM represents about one third of our business, with at-sea observers, dockside monitoring, and environmental services making up the rest. Archipelago was established in 1978, and we pioneered EM in our BC fisheries starting in 1999. From pilot projects to operational programs, we have more than 700 monitoring systems deployed around the world, with over 40 EM projects across a range of fisheries, gear types, and monitoring objectives. As the industry leader in EM, our hardware, software, and methodologies have served as the basis for much of the subsequent EM work conducted globally by other service providers.

In 2017, we partnered with Marine Instruments (MI) to harness their deep expertise with marine electronics, R&D, and manufacturing to advance EM technology and respond to a greater variety of monitoring needs across our shared global presence. More recently, Archipelago went through a transition in company leadership as well as ownership across 2019 and 2020, which has marked a significant shift in direction with how we want to approach EM and pursue future developments while remaining true to our historical values.

Archipelago’s vision for the future of EM is built upon four key pillars:

Hardware – Our recent partnerships with multiple hardware manufacturers will allow us to offer EM solutions that satisfy the monitoring needs of every vessel in every fishery;

Software – We are developing industry leading software which will support both traditional human review methods, artificial intelligence supported review, integration with electronic logbooks, fleet level monitoring tools, and more;

Pricing – We will offer competitive and flexible pricing models (i.e., subscription pricing) to reduce the upfront costs of hardware and eliminate barriers to entry into EM;

Partnerships – We are seeking to establish strategic relationships with partners around the world to provide a global reach that can support the growth of EM.

Recognizing that our goals for EM are ambitious, we are determined to achieve these goals through an unprecedented investment in EM technology which has been missing from Archipelago in recent years. Working with successful companies like MI and Barnacle Systems Inc., has allowed us to develop new hardware solutions such as MarineObserve – our upcoming full-scale EM system, as well as our latest product LIME (Lite Integrated Monitoring Electronic). We’ve already started refreshing our existing suite of software applications such as EM Interpret (better known as EMI), and introducing new software to allow for improved data reporting and real-time fleet monitoring. We believe that our commitment to new pricing models will also help improve the access to EM for many potential clients who may struggle with the current up-front costs of monitoring equipment.

Our hope is that over the next few years, Archipelago will be able to provide a modernized end-to-end solution for electronic monitoring – something we refer to as the EM Ecosystem (see diagram above). It will allow us to leverage our deep operational understanding of monitoring programs, while providing clients with substantially more options for monitoring tools and services to best meet their fishery needs. With flexible pricing options, we believe we will help catalyze the growth of successfully managed EM programs around the globe.

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