New iPhone app to track snapper
As Apple iPhone users are fond of saying, “ There’s an app for that,” referring to an application or program.
In this case, it’s an app that researchers at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies hope will help them track snapper landings in the Gulf of Mexico.
The institute, known as HRI, is at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. With funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Cooperative Research Program, researchers developed an iPhone application that lets boat captains track the number, weight and location of snapper they and their clients catch in the Gulf.
The $ 178,000 project “brings together scientists and fishermen to solve common problems, which is lack of data from the recreational sector in the red snapper fishery,” a news release from HRI said.
A program had been started to allow boat captains to track their snapper catches, but there was no software available to make it easy for them to record the data. The new program, called iSnapper, is “highly affordable, highly adaptable and simple to use, and functions as an electronic logbook,” the news release said .
Th e HRI researchers provided iPhones to 12 Port Aransas captains and showed them at a briefing session on May 12 how to use the program. Boat captains in Galveston and Freeport, Destin and Panama City, Fla., and Fourchon, La., also got the iPhones. The first program is a test, or “beta,” version; the final version is expected to be available by Wednesday, June 1.
“Throughout the summer, fishermen will be able make suggestions for changes/additions, etc. about the app to help improve it, ultimately helping design a new electronic reporting system,” the news release said.