First COPPA Fishery Monitor Sea Trials Return
Lessons Learned – Next Trips Underway]
June 21, 2019. Nha Trang, Vietnam
Two handline tuna/swordfish vessel captains have returned from testing the Crew Observer Photographic Protocol Application (COPPA) at sea. The Android tablets and basic app functions worked well but both vessel captains reported difficulty acquiring a GPS signal to stamp catch event photos.
One vessel had to return early so did not report any catch events. The other reported 2 catch events involving bycatch species but had to note location and species manually due to the issue above.
After inspecting the devices and finding them to be 100% functional a few tests revealed they were difficult to connect to GPS without constantly keeping one finger on the screen. Further research on Android devices screen control revealed the problem. It was simple issue with the device’s factory default device “sleep” settings.
It seems the pads “off the shelf” sleep settings are all 15 seconds. While 15 seconds may be enough for fast linkup in a GPS signal-saturated urban location it is not enough at sea. There, it may take as long as 3 to 5 minutes to acquire a GPS signal the first time.
The solution to the problem is easy and only took a few minutes to change the pad sleep settings to the maximum and to train the captains on how to check and reset them as well as how to use the manual sleep button.
The COPPA pads and the captains are back at sea now, equipped with better knowledge of how the devices work and more confidence in using them. When they return in July, we will report on the next COPPA trips here.