The crowdsourcing principle is not new at all: On a Breton fishing cutter, I have now experienced first-hand how important networks and crowdsourcing are for people Success and thus the survival of the fishermen are.


A bone job

Eric Pochat (pictured with his son Gauthier) has been a fisherman since he was 17. With 25 he had his first own boat, taken over by the father. Today, with 48, he sails with his third boat, the Avel to Heol to the sea - 5 days a week, 14 hours a day: It is usually already morning around 3, return is usually only in the late afternoon.

It is a bone job and not without danger: Eric has it well, he controls the boat only, has as Executive but also the entire responsibility. His two employees work with crash helmets and rubber boots on the lower deck: every move sits, must sit, if one of the men does not want to get hurt by the hard job.

They are allowed to ensure that the heavy trawl nets are properly unwound from the turbines and later rolled up again. They empty the nets and lower them back into the water. And you sortieren the catch immediately according to type and size in crates so that it can be immediately handed over to the dealer in the evening in the port of Le Guilvinec at the fish hall and auctioned off directly. Freshness and thus speed is also a quality feature in this job.

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Perfect cooperation

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Three times on that day the nets are ejected and retrieved again. Every time a perfect match. And one that would not work without a network in the double word.

Because Captain Pochat has all sorts of technical navigation devices around tax gathered around, but when it comes to finding the schools of fish, it depends on human skills: “No one helps there TechnologyA good fisherman must have a feeling where the fish are, you can't explain that,” he says with a smile and not without pride.


The success depends on the network

But then he admits that success also depends on his network: Eric was in constant radio communication throughout the journey Contact to other fishermen. If he then notices that somewhere else clear more was caught, he goes there too.

And even more: the fishermen's routes have also been more or less developed by the fishermen.

Route calculation using the OpenStreetMap principle

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For this, Eric screwed into his control cabin two computers. With the software MaxSea, he calculates and records shipping routes and carries rocks or wrecks of sunken ships, which he has found by echo sounder, of which there are so many in the waters off the Breton coast that they could become a danger to the fishing boats.

And the fishermen exchange their experiences and route with each other via USB stick. In this way everyone is participating in the experiences of the other - real crowdsourcing, albeit with commercial software, by which time an ever more complete sea chart similar to OpenStreetMap is created.

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Has technology changed the craft?

"Navigating with the computer is a significant step forward," Eric says when asked if modern technology has changed fishing. And the performance has also improved:

"We can go further out today because the boats are faster and throw out more nets," Eric says of other advantages. But much still works according to traditional patterns and is hard manual work.


Exchange is important

That's why Eric is just one of the very few fishermen who take tourists with them at sea. But Eric values ​​exchange very much: "This has already resulted in some friendships."

And then he laughs: "Most of them get terribly seasick," he says - and then mischievously admits that he felt the same way at the very beginning. But then he got used to it.

Between family tradition and own ideas

Because even if the job is not easy, Eric could never imagine anything else: already with 12 he knew that he wanted to become a fisherman. His son Gauthier is just 16 and less convinced - it is also noticeable to him. At the moment he is doing an internship on his father's ship. He also persuaded him to visit the fishing school.

When Eric in a few years pension and emigrate to friends in Corsica, he wants to hand over the relatively new ship to his son. But Gauthier is still undecided whether he really wants to continue the family tradition or whether he would rather become a baker or butcher. Eric thinks that's a shame.


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