Solicitation for Electronic Monitoring Cost Assessment

Geoffrey Smith

Published August 29, 2018
  • The Nature Conservancy is seeking a contractor to conduct a cost assessment of Electronic Monitoring Systems in the New England Groundfish Fishery.

    The New England Fisheries Management Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service are in the process of updating the groundfish fishery monitoring program through Amendment 23 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery. The purpose of Amendment 23 is to implement measures to improve reliability and accountability of catch reporting and to ensure a precise and accurate representation of catch (landings and discards). Electronic monitoring systems are being considered as a potential monitoring tool to help achieve these desired outcomes. The goal of this project is to provide additional information for fishery managers and other stakeholders on potential costs associated with broader implementation of Electronic Monitoring technologies.

    The assessment will be a two-part process. Phase 1 will include a brief but detailed cost assessment of the Electronic Monitoring Project implemented through two Exempted Fishing Permits during Fishing Year 2017. This project is being administered by the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, Ecotrust Canada, and the Nature Conservancy. The contractor will prepare a detailed report that summarizes project costs including monitoring equipment, video review, data delivery and management, and technical support. Cost information will be provided by the project partners. The report will also identify specific cost drivers and potential opportunities reducing future costs.

    Phase Two will utilize the results of the Phase One assessment and other relevant sources to prepare a cost estimate for broad-scale implementation of Electronic Monitoring systems in the New England groundfish fishery. Project partners and the contractor will use their best professional judgement to develop the terms of reference for this assessment, including estimates on the number of participating vessels, data transmission systems, video review rates, video storage requirements, and other relevant factors. Pertinent sources of information for this assessment will include the Phase One report, A Preliminary Cost Comparison of At Sea Monitoring and Electronic Monitoring for a Hypothetical Groundfish Sector (NOAA Fisheries June 2015), An Independent Review of: A Preliminary Cost Comparison of At-sea Monitoring and Electronic Monitoring for a Hypothetical Groundfish Sector (Brannan 2015), Challenges, Opportunities, and Costs of Electronic Fisheries Monitoring (Sylvia 2016), and cost information from Electronic Monitoring programs in the West Coast whiting and fixed gear fisheries, and other relevant sources.

    Deadline for this solicitation is September 15th, 2018. The project is expected to begin in September and final deliverables are expected by December 2018.

    For more information, please contact Geoffrey Smith ( or Chris McGuire ( at the Nature Conservancy.


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