Timmons Group was selected through a competitive process to design, develop and implement the At-Sea Mobile Data Collection application for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC). The project is a joint collaboration between PSMFC and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). ODFW has a team of samplers that work offshore on commercial fishing vessels with responsibility for recording daily fishing trips and the details about each trip. These details include information about the vessel, number of clients on the vessel, gear type used and detailed information about each catch effort (drift) and fish caught. The application is designed to support At-Sea mobile data collection on iPads and assume a lack of data connectivity during sampling sessions.
At-sea samplers range widely in technical capabilities. This combined with the extreme conditions of the offshore environment emphasized the importance of creating and extremely easy-to-use interface for data collection. Timmons Group also provided guidance and support to PSMFC and ODFW for hardware device options, screen / water protection cases, flash storage options and battery back-up options.
The data collected At-sea is pushed, once connected to the internet, to the RecFIN database housed at the PSMFC office in Portland Oregon. Data are used to better understand the number of fish species caught on recreational fishing vessels, how many were kept, released, specific measurements per fish and information regarding sensitive or protected species.
Timmons Group developed this application using an iterative method of application development. Data collection in extreme environments where reliable data connections, weather, and less-than-optimal conditions are the norm, dictates a different approach than building a generic application for everyday use. A high-degree of attention was paid to the interface design to create extremely simplistic interfaces and streamlined workflows to support the end-users.