Vericatch is a Canadian-owned and Canadian-based fishing technology company.
Vericatch has been supporting the Canadian commercial fishing industry for over fifteen years. Just as the industry has changed and developed over that time, our company has also changed and evolved. But we’ve always been true to our roots as a Canadian-owned and Canadian-based specialist fishing technology company.
Fishing + Technology
We were founded in 2006 by fishermen and technologists who envisioned how technology could improve the profitability and sustainability of the fishing industry. Originally the business was called IQMI, or International Quota Management, and was set up to help with quota trading when quotas were introduced for BC commercial fisheries. Once quota trading became more commonplace, and fishermen had the tools to do it themselves, we moved on to supporting some First Nations groups with their catch recording and reporting for Harrison and Fraser River pink salmon. That’s when we developed the first version of our catch reporting and fishery management software.
That initial work led to engaging with larger commercial fisheries, including the CGRCS – the Canadian Groundfish Research and Conservation Society – and the BC Groundfish Trawl fishery. For over a decade, we’ve been working with these fisheries to provide software they can use for their compliance reporting while also giving them access to their fishing data to bring value back to them and their businesses.
Commercial Fishing Software Solutions
As we started to create customized catch reporting software solutions, we quickly realized that while every fishery is different, they all have commonalities. They all have to count how much seafood they’re catching and report their catch to regulators, for example. We also realized it didn’t make sense to build one-off, custom software for each of our commercial fishing clients. That would be like every accountant having to create their own version of Excel. It makes more sense for everyone to start with the same product and adjust it to meet their needs. So we decided to build catch reporting software that could be used by a variety of fishermen and fisheries around the world and customized just for them.
There are so many advantages to this approach. It’s cheaper, as everyone doesn’t have to develop their own products. It’s more reliable because multiple users are working with it, helping iron out bugs and making suggestions for improving it. It’s more powerful because fishermen have their catch data at their fingertips – or on their phones – so they’ve got all the information they need to prove they’re meeting compliance needs and catching fishing legally. It also helps them improve their businesses and the industry by making it easier for them to make data-driven decisions.
By designing a flexible product that works for most fisheries around the world, it allows us to allocate resources into continually creating useful features for fishermen, rather than creating a series of customized solutions that each have to be developed and maintained.
“I’ve used Vericatch’s software for many years and it’s become a necessary, cost efficient and effective tool for my fishing business. Their applications ensure I receive timely updates regarding my fishing activities and that I’m complying with the various data and reporting requirements identified in my vessel’s government issued commercial fishing license. Vericatch’s applications also support my annual and in-season business planning and allow me to demonstrate to local and international buyers and consumers that our products are harvested sustainably.” ~ Brian Mose, Vessel owner/operator
The evolution of technology has allowed our company to evolve. In 2018 we changed our name from IQMI to Vericatch to better reflect the full scope of what we do and the software solutions we offer.
Gone are the days when fishermen would have to buy custom computers for their wheelhouse. Now they can use smartphones and tablets, which have strong computing powers, great displays, and can figure out GPS locations. Those capabilities come together, and thanks to their communications capabilities, they can also potentially connect to other devices to bring in sources of information. That smartphone or tablet then becomes an amazingly capable device for catch reporting and tracking what fishermen are doing on the water.
Today our products are used all over the world in multiple languages. We’re being used for catch reporting on massive boats bringing in millions of dollars of product each year in Canada, and by artisanal fishers in Asia to help record their catch and ensure their livelihoods. Our KnowYour.Fish software supports national retailers who want to verify where their seafood is coming from. We’re also a leading provider of electronic logbooks (ELOGS) for fisheries in Canada (see more on our ELOGS below).
In the future, we envision fishermen using their data in collaboration with other information, such as surface temperatures, weather conditions and current patterns, to improve the accuracy of how and where they fish.
Sustainable, Streamlined, Secure
Over the past fifteen-plus years, we’ve always focused on:
- Designing, developing, and supporting solutions that contribute to the sustainability of the fishing industry and the communities it supports
- Streamlining data collection so fishermen and regulators can use their data for sustainable fisheries management
- Data security at every step of the catch reporting and traceability process
Electronic Logbooks (ELOGS)
When the DFO put out a call for developers to support their National Electronic Logbook (ELOG) initiative it was a natural fit for Vericatch.
With the DFO working towards more efficient data collection and usage, and a lower cost of implementation – the move from paper logbooks to ELOGS aligns with our philosophy that one-off solutions are not efficient. Some Canadian commercial fisheries are already using digital catch reporting, many are still using paper logbooks, and there are no national standards. While we may not agree with everything the DFO is asking of users with their ELOG transition, we do agree with the overall move away from paper tracking and reporting and the value of real-time data for managing fisheries more efficiently.
With our ELOGS, we’ve built in the ability for users to keep and use the information they’ve recorded about their fishing activities so they can benefit from their data and make more informed business decisions. We were very excited to be the first company ever to be nationally certified by the DFO for ELOGS. We launched with Lobster ELOGS in the summer of 2022, and we were certified for Crab ELOGS later that same year. We’ll be adding additional fisheries throughout 2023 so that our ELOGS support all fisheries by 2024 when the DFO is making it mandatory for fishermen to transition from paper to electronic logbooks.
Data Confidentiality and Security
With software comes security and privacy challenges which is why we’ve always prioritized data security and protection. With all our products the user always owns and manages their own data. With our ELOGS, the user enters their own data into the system, the user chooses when to send it to the DFO – which all happens on Canadian servers – and only the user can access or share their data. We don’t share it, sell it, or use it in any way. We also follow all the security standards defined by the DFO as well as all compliance standards. You can read more about our security here.
- 2006: Founded by fishermen and technologists
- 2016: Launched first version of FisheriesApp
- 2018: Changed name from IQMI to Vericatch
- 2019: Launched KnowYour.Fish
- 2020: Started developing ELOGS
- 2021: Moved to a new office in Vancouver
- 2022: Opened offices in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland
- 2022: First company to ever be certified by the DFO for National ELOGS