Project number: 2018-026
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $223,747.89
Principal Investigator: Andrew Powell
Organisation: Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA)
Project start/end date: 30 Sep 2018 - 31 Dec 2019


Advances in data capture has resulted in the proliferation in the types of reporting platforms available for the fishing industry to report to the Government and third parties resulting in duplication of processes, collection of multiple data sets, and a requirement for fishing boats to operate multiple systems to meet their reporting requirements. It is estimated for licensing systems alone around four times the necessary spend to create a national system has been expended or will be expended within the next few years. Coupled with an increased drive for fishers to participate in traceability schemes a new data architecture is required to enable access to data that links currently disparate data sets and in particular creating a unique event linking identifier.

To support the changing needs there is a need to develop a design for a fisheries data architecture which:
• allows for the linkage or integration of currently disparate data
• allows for multiple methods of data transfer
• is adaptable to changing needs allowing for future expansion and changes to data sets and collection methodology
• supports sharing of data with third parties in real time.

While single integrated box solutions initially appear an attractive solution for solving this problem, they limit the ability to adapt quickly to changing needs and reduce long term market competition. There is a need to develop a data architecture that allows for future adaptation and provides industry flexibility to choose equipment they employ on their boats. The key aspect is linking a wide range of data, collected from different sources to a single event and sharing this data quickly across different platforms and for different purposes.

Consistent with the recommendation from “accelerating precision agriculture to decision agriculture” report it offers an opportunity to demonstrate benefits of digital initiatives.


1. Better meet the demands of the Australian community and fisheries stakeholders to readily access and use fisheries data.
2. Provide opportunities for the digital transformation of fisheries data.
3. Increase the opportunities for businesses to utilise fisheries data through enhancing its availability and power.
4. Increase the cost effectiveness and efficiency of fisheries data capture and management.
5. Better meet the demands of traceability schemes to aid market access for Australian seafood businesses.
6. Provide greater access and linkages of fishery data without compromising data confidentiality and privacy obligations

Final report

ISBN: 978-1-877044-41-0
Authors: Andrew Powell Natalie Rivero Callum Tyle John Garvey and Michael Roses
Final Report • 2020-05-01 • 980.03 KB


The e-fish project provides an in-depth analysis of the challenges currently experienced by fisheries agencies in data integration and sharing. The project, led by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) in consultation with Australia’s State and NT fisheries jurisdictions, investigated a solution for integrating fisheries data across data collection platforms and securely sharing data with users.The outcome of the project was a recommendation of a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) coupled with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for data capture and sharing which was demonstrated through proof of concept testing to be a fit for purpose solution for fisheries agencies.

Project products

Report • 2020-07-01 • 766.21 KB
2018-026-DLD Attachment A.pdf


This report details the first part of the ‘Discovery’ stage of the e-Fish project, providing context on the project, the interview methods, the intent of the interviews, the data received, and who was interviewed. A total of 55 users were interviewed across eight state and territory jurisdictions and three supporting agencies.
Report • 2020-07-01 • 1.11 MB
2018-026-DLD Attachment B.pdf


This report provides an analysis of a service orientated architecture in the context of a fisheries management agency’s ability to collect, share, and process data. The report includes examples from a proof of concept application. This application was developed through consultation with AFMA staff and aims to illustrate how a system might meet the design principles uncovered in the first stage of the e-Fish project. The five design principles being:
1. Linked data – Data sets are inherently linked in a way that allows ease of use.
2. Modern data sharing – Data sets should be exposed to external users through an easy to maintain and minimal touch solution such as application programming interfaces (APIs).
3. Ensure data integrity – Data is clean and validated with minimal errors. Data is stored according to predefined elements maintained in an agency or industry wide taxonomy.
4. Standardised data collection – Data is received in a uniform approach. Care is taken to not duplicate data where it is unnecessary to do so.
5. System capability fit for purpose – Implemented systems directly support various business outcomes of fisheries stakeholders.

Related research