Rimu Boddy left school at 15 years old and became a fisherman. After nine years, he could see how technology would vastly improve the industry, but his IT knowledge began and ended with video games.
So, armed with a solid idea and unrivalled motivation, Rimu enrolled first in Otago Polytechnic’s Certificate of Information Technology (Level 4), and then the Bachelor of Information Technology. “Doing the certificate made the transition into study much easier” he says. “It was amazing, everyone bent over backwards to help me”.
He found maths and essay writing a real challenge, but was determined to succeed. “If I struggled with anything, I’d just talk about it with the teachers, and they made sure I got it.”
Rimu focussed every aspect of his degree on his project: a fishing reporting app. While out at sea, fishermen input information of their catch into an iPad and send the data back to shore via satellite.
Rimu says it’s a win-win for the industry and the environment. “Instead of catching as much fish as they can and hope that it’s what people want, fishermen can target species that are in demand and actually make more money. Because they can sell it before they even reach the dock, the fish is fresher as well. In turn, the government knows what fish is caught where, so can better manage the sustainability of the industry”.
Rimu’s company, Fishery Logistics Ltd, is consulting with the Ministry on the new fishing regulations, and his app is being trialled on several fishing boats in New Zealand waters.
Casting into the future, Rimu has leads in the USA and PNG markets. Once his Fishing Reporting App is established, this fisherman-come-IT guru already has plans for his next software development.