SiriusXM fishes for diversification – Radio World

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Image of a fishing boat against the sunrise

In 2019-2020, Florida’s recreational saltwater fishing industry contributed $ 9.2 billion to the state’s economy. When COVID-19 finally weakens, this industry is expected to pick up, as are the recreational saltwater fishing industries off the ocean coasts around North America.

For a diversification-driven tech company like SiriusXM, recreational fishing offers a natural business addition to its primary audience.

For decades, deep-sea fishing vessels have relied on the radio for vital information. Today, SiriusXM Marine is able to provide these boats with a fish mapping data service to identify areas of the ocean where fish are most likely to bite.

As an example of its activities in this area, SiriusXM announced this spring that it is now transmitting its fish mapping service to the Furuno NavNet TZtouch3 family of multifunction displays (MFDs) equipped with SiriusXM BBWX4 satellite weather receivers. .

“Furuno’s strong product line has always helped anglers catch and catch fish,” said Dean Kurutz, senior vice president of sales, marketing and product planning for Furuno USA, in the announcement. .

“Now, thanks to the advanced data provided by Fish Mapping, captains will have the ability to locate ideal fishing areas by targeting specific species and sea conditions, maximizing their time on the water and saving time and money. fuel. “

“Knowledge of the situation”

SiriusXM weather and fish mapping on a boat's helm
SiriusXM weather and fish mapping on a boat’s helm

SiriusXM’s business case is based on providing listeners with a unique broadcast selection of entertainment, music and information audio channels.

Its North American satellite footprint covers the coasts of the Atlantic to the coasts of the Pacific and adjacent waters. That’s why “SiriusXM has provided key weather information to offshore fishermen well beyond the reach of cellular or Internet signals for many years,” according to Geoff Leech, senior manager of SiriusXM Marine Services.

“This information has provided fishermen with invaluable situational awareness when exposed on the water.”

Initially, this weather service was voice only. But eventually, under the name SiriusXM Marine Weather, it was extended to include meteorological and ocean data for on-board navigation displays made by Furuno, Garmin, Raymarine and the Navico Simrad, Lowrance and B&G brands.

These color screens allow boat operators to “see” the weather around them superimposed on their electronic navigation charts. This decision made sense: the boat operators were willing to pay for access to this data, and SiriusXM had set up the satellite distribution network to provide it to them.

SiriusXM Fish Mapping screenshots showing the strength of the plankton front and the strength of the sea surface temperature front that help locate promising areas for fishing
The strength of the plankton front from SiriusXM Fish Mapping and the strength of the sea surface temperature front help locate promising areas for fishing.

So how did a boat information service end up providing deep sea fishing recommendations?

“One feature of SiriusXM Marine Weather that fishermen appreciate is the sea surface temperature data,” replied Leech.

“The areas where ocean surface temperatures change are often where baitfish find nutrients to feed on, and pelagic species of hunting fish in turn feed on these baitfish. Knowing that many of our clients were already offshore fishermen, we developed Fish Mapping in order to be able to provide additional fishing information to these valued clients.

The Fish Mapping service costs $ 99.99 per month and includes weather information from SiriusXM Marine. The service can be suspended free of charge for up to six months per year.

Science

Fish mapping works by identifying qualities in areas of the ocean that influence the likelihood of finding desirable game fish such as marlin, tuna, and wahoo, among others.

These oceanic features include variations in sea surface height (nutrient uplifts), surface / subsurface temperatures, “weed lines” – the floating vegetation where fish congregate to find food and shelter, and where they are hunted by larger predatory fish – and concentrations of plankton.

SiriusXM Fish Mapping recommendations identify areas oceanographers recommend to focus on six target species
The SiriusXM Fish Mapping recommendations identify areas that oceanographers recommend to focus on six target species.

At SiriusXM Marine Weather, “data for our fish mapping service is provided by oceanographers at Maxar Technologies,” said Leech.

“Maxar is a satellite company that provides Google Earth images and other services, including information to help find the best fishing conditions. Maxar’s oceanographers compile and analyze data from various sources and send it to SiriusXM for integration into our satellite feed for our Fish Mapping customers.

This feed reaches ships up to 150 miles offshore. A SiriusXM receiver on the boat picks up the signal, which is translated into images displayed in widescreen format directly on the boat’s navigation screen.

“Having fishery-specific data on board showing the areas of the ocean where pelagic fish species are most likely to congregate is considered a real ‘game changer’ by offshore fishermen.” Leech told Radio World.

“SiriusXM Marine Weather helps boaters stay away from hazardous weather conditions so they can enjoy their time on the water, and Fish Mapping helps anglers find the best places to fish, saving time and money. fuel. “

Satisfied customers

Finding that place where fish bite is a constant question for fishing enthusiasts. SiriusXM’s Fish Mapping Service harnesses science to answer this question, which results in many “anglers” and even happy fish.

“‘Fishing recommendations’ is my favorite feature,” wrote Captain Greg Weaver of E-Fishing Sea Sport Fishing Charters in a testimonial sent to SiriusXM.

“On a recent trip, I headed to areas marked as recommended for wahoo. Besides catching wahoo I found the area to be productive with bait and also caught tuna and marlin. Fish Mapping has already had a huge impact on where I take my charter clients.

Dave Johnson, Mike Hatcher, and Captain Tom Robinson of the Fixed Income Fishing Boat in Naples, Fla., Told the company that after reviewing SiriusXM’s Fish Mapping Fishing Recommendations feature on their Garmin chartplotter and seeing multiple areas recommended for wahoo, they were aimed at the Intrepid for one of the overlapping “fish bubble” areas about 80 miles offshore.

“We put two wahoo weighted flat lines well behind the boat and two stabilizers with skirts blowing the wakes and dragging at 8.5 knots. We had our first wahoo within minutes.

Given its success in mapping fish, SiriusXM is naturally motivated to venture into new areas beyond its core audio business.

“We are constantly exploring new, innovative services that would add value to our existing and potential subscribers,” said Geoff Leech.

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