safety and tracking
for artisanal fishermen

about starfish

STARFISH 4.0 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. The project proposes new technologies for the safety of small-scale fishermen and sustainable marine resource management. The overall objective is to refine the product and services through user feedback and improve stakeholder engagement and the adoption of 4.0 technologies in a data-poor sector.

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 address this issue, STARFISH 4.0 proposes the NEMO system: digital tools and technology designed for these fishermen. 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.

One specific objective of STARFISH is to investigate new opportunities for increased revenues for fishers, through improved readiness to direct marketing and to seafood traceability. The vessel tracking system used in this project is indeed a traceability-enabling technology, extending the chain of custody at sea by collecting, recording and transmitting sea-to-shore data. This device can provide evidence about who, where and when the fish was caught and how it was handled on the vessel from a food safety perspective/cold chain integrity insurance.  

STARFISH 4.0 will support fishermen in developing new practices and adopting new 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