Andrew Petersen

Andrew Petersen

Lead Developer, Bluefin Data

Andrew Petersen is not afraid to make a bet. Before his current role, he was a professional online poker player.  Now, as leader of Bluefin Data, he’s bringing technology to commercial fishing that could revolutionize the way government regulates the industry.

In March, Bluefin Data took home $10,000 as the first place winner of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week’s Water Challenge, a pitch competition for entrepreneurial ideas to protect coastal environments, improve urban water management, and create jobs in the local water economy.

“We are creating a culture within the seafood industry that helps improve the quality of life for animals and humans,” said Petersen, lead developer of Bluefin Data. “We’re doing it through software and collecting information about what comes out of our waters and where it goes.”

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When commercial fishermen come in to sell their haul, Bluefin Data’s VESL “hook to database” software platform captures information on the catch, such as when and where it was caught and what bait was used, along with environmental data about the trip, who is buying, how much and at what price. State regulators require the data, but it has previously been captured on paper and then entered into a computer, a process which is not always precise and can be cumbersome and costly.

Petersen sees the software as a tool to help gather information on trends in seafood availability and health, which will assist the state, fishermen and businesses related to fishing make critical business decisions as they prepare for and go through fishing seasons.

“We’re a third party that’s a bridge between commercial fishermen and the government,” he said. “The seafood industry is an industry that technology just hasn’t been to yet. We’re hoping to get better and more accurate data so that we can provide benefits to both sides.”

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