safety and tracking
for artisanal fishermen

about starfish

STARFISH 4.0 (Demonstration of a solar-powered Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) and digital tools for the safety of artisanal fishermen and sustainable management of small-scale fisheries) is a 2-year project (2020-2021), funded by the European Commission’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund as part of its Sustainable Blue Economy grant.

Small-scale fisheries play an important role in the European Union from a biological, economic and social perspective, amounting to 85% of all fishing vessels. But SSF are not currently monitored as large, industrial fishing vessels are; we do not know where they fish, nor how much, which creates significant challenges for sustainable resource management. To solve this data gap, STARFISH 4.0 helps bring to market the NEMO system. It includes an innovative, solar-powered VMS transponder with an IoT/ satellite/ GSM communications system, a Big Data software platform, and dedicated mobile applications.

The NEMO system has been specifically designed to help manage small-scale fishing and encourage support from fishing communities.

The STARFISH 4.0 project demo trials the NEMO system for small-scale fishers in real operational conditions at sea. The general goal is to refine the product through user feedback and improve stakeholder engagement in order to speed up market uptake by one year after the end of the project.

This NEMO demo will support fishermen in developing new practices and adopting new 4.0 technologies, fostering a culture of compliance. Fisheries managers and scientists will gain precious information about SSF fishing activities, which will serve as crucial decision-making tools for sustainably managing resources.

KEY FACTS – small-scale fishers around the world


of global fish catches


of the 120 million people employed in fisheries



of global fish stocks are overexploited or collapsed


of the world's fishing vessels

KEY FACTS – small-scale fishers in Europe


of fishing vessels in the Mediterranean & Black Seas

Estimated number of small fishing vessels (under 12m) in Europe

Estimated number of small fishing vessels (under 12m) in Greece

KEY FACTS – starfish project

small-scale vessels monitored

year project