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New technology helps DNR collect FACTS from key fishing industries

For many years, the DNR collected paper reports from the commercial fishing industry, wholesale fish dealers and charter boat operators.

A new platform, the Fishing Activity & Catch Tracking System, has helped the DNR streamline those reporting processes. FACTS, which replaces several outdated reporting systems the DNR previously used, features many improvements, including mobile technology.

Wholesale fish dealers now are able to enter their fish purchases in real time, submit up-to-date reports to the DNR and run their own reports about their business activities.

Commercial fishing operators can log in to report their fishing activities in real time and can run reports on their fishing activities over time.

Charter boat captains can submit monthly reports and view their fishing history through the new system. Captains can conduct all their business from a smartphone, allowing them to report before they even get back to dock.

“A version of FACTS has been used successfully by the Multispecies Groundfish Fisheries in Canada and the Northeast U.S., as well as the state of Maryland in their fisheries industry for many years,” said Tracy Claramunt, a DNR fisheries biologist who oversaw the adoption of FACTS. “Their successes helped pave the way for us to be able to bring this technology to Michigan.”

The DNR is collecting customer feedback to continuously improve the user experience. For more information on FACTS, or Michigan’s commercial, wholesale or charter fishing industries, visit Michigan.gov/FishBusiness.

Questions? Contact Tracy Claramunt, 517-282-2887 or Elyse Walter, 517-284-5839.