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NFWF Continues Investment in Fisheries Accountability and Data Modernization

By: Melanie Sturm and Erika Feller

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is pleased to announce the release of our third request for proposals (RFP) for projects that catalyze the implementation of electronic technologies (ET) for catch and compliance monitoring and improvements to fishery information systems in U.S. fisheries.

Timely, accurate and reliable data is an essential ingredient to managing fish stocks sustainably. But U.S. fisheries are diverse in their needs and conditions. Around the U.S., commercial and recreational fishery leaders, states and federal agencies, universities, NGOs and service providers are working to build better data systems that support decision making, improve management efficiency, and support creative solutions to fishery management challenges. Inherent in the design of “better data… Read More »


Gulf of Maine Explained: Electronic Monitoring

From the Gulf of Maine Research Institute

It’s easy to imagine fishing as a Wild West landscape, with fishermen heading out to sea, catching as many fish as they can, and selling them all back at the dock in a straightforward process.

In reality, fishing in the Gulf of Maine is a complex, heavily-regulated industry. Federal fisheries managers set strict limits for how much fish can be harvested in a given year. Fishermen in New England are then required to report their catch data to ensure they don’t exceed these limits. The catch is also monitored by human observers — people who ride along with the fishermen to verify their catch data.

Monitoring is important, but human… Read More »


Wide Range of EM Presentations Planned for August AFS Meeting in Florida

At this year’s American Fisheries Society Meeting in Tampa, Florida (August 20th-24th), we are hosting an all-day session on Monday (21st) titled, Emerging Technologies in Fisheries-Dependent Science and Catch Monitoring.

We are bringing together electronic technology experts, fishery scientists, managers and other stakeholders to examine how advanced technologies can improve future fisheries-dependent data collection. You will hear how remotely collected data (video images, global positioning systems, sensors), machine vision learning, big data, and reporting application technologies, can be used in fisheries science and management. Please note that discounted early registration ends July 8th.

We hope you can join us. Please contact me or a member of our Steering Committee for more information!

Steering Committee

Brett Alger, NMFS, Office of Science and Technology

Farron Wallace, NMFS, Alaska Fisheries Science Center

Jane… Read More »


Marine Instruments and Archipelago Marine Research Form a Strategic Partnership

In a news release dated June 13, 2017, Archipelago Marine Research (AMR) and Marine Instruments (MI) announced they are now working together to enable ongoing advancement and implementation of Electronic Monitoring (EM) technology around the world:

Marine Instruments brings a strong worldwide presence in the marine industry as well as years of technical innovation in marine electronics. Archipelago pioneered EM technology, and are recognized experts in the design and implementation of EM programs in all fishery types. This business arrangement allows for further advancement of EM technology throughout the world and increased adoption of EM as a viable solution for fisheries monitoring. The formal agreement was signed by both organizations in Victoria, BC, Canada on June 2, 2017.

“The fisheries… Read More »


EM Confirmed as Part of New Zealand’s Fishing Future

After almost 15 years of small-scale trials, EM is now confirmed as part of New Zealand’s commercial fishing future. The New Zealand Minister for Primary Industries has announced that commercial fishers in New Zealand will soon be electronically reporting their catch, automatically communicating their fishing positions, and operating on-vessel cameras to monitor fishing activities. The new measures will be introduced from 1 October 2017 for electronic catch reporting (ER) and geospatial position reporting (GPR), and phased in from 1 October 2018 for electronic monitoring (EM). Together, the measures comprise IEMRS, New Zealand’s new Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System for the commercial fishing fleet.

The purpose of the new IEMRS system is to provide verifiable, accurate, integrated and timely data on commercial fishing activity to inform fisheries managers in industry… Read More »


Electonic Monitoring in the West Coast Groundfish Fishery: Summary Results from the California Groundfish Collective Exempted Fishing Permit Project 2015-2016

The California Groundfish Collective, The Nature Conservancy and the Environmental Defense Fund recently released a report on our two year project to implement electronic monitoring in the West Coast groundfish fishery. The report, “Electronic Monitoring in the West Coast Groundfish Fishery: Summary results from the California Groundfish Collective Exempted Fishing Permit Project 2015-16”, is available here .

This initial report, authored by project manager Lisa Damrosch,  summarizes high-level findings and lessons learned from our on-going Exempted Fishing Permit project implementing electronic monitoring in lieu of human observers. The findings detailed in the report may be useful to eminformation.com audiences, and the structure somewhat mirrors the report recently released by our New England colleagues. We continue to work with the Pacific Fishery Management… Read More »


Electronic Monitoring in the New England Groundfish Fishery: Lessons learned from a collaborative research project (2013-2015)

In 2013 Maine fishermen, NGOs and an EM provider began a three-year EM pilot in the New England groundfish fishery.  The premise will sound familiar to others exploring EM: Accurate discard accounting is important for science and management, but is already costly, and is unlikely to get cheaper using only human observers—there must be a better way.

The questions: Could accurate discard information (species and length) be collected using cameras in this fishery? What would it take to do that? And finally; could the price get driven down to a manageable level?  The short answers are yes; takes collaboration; and it depends. For all the details and some comparison data check out the full report.

Open full report


New Wave of Electronic Monitoring Projects in U.S. Fisheries Highlighted at National Workshop

The second national electronic monitoring workshop was held in Seattle, Washington late last year. Hosted by NOAA Fisheries, the goal was to bring together fisheries monitoring and management experts to share what’s working in EM implementation projects, what’s not, and to develop solutions and paths forward.

The workshop was also a celebration of significant progress taking place. Since the first national workshop held in January 2014, there has been a large scale EM regulatory program implemented in the Atlantic HMS fishery and regulations authorizing EM programs developed through Regional exempted fishing permit and cooperative research projects are scheduled for implementation in 2017 and 2018 in several different fisheries around the country.

These new programs all provide examples of one or more ‘best practices’… Read More »


New Report Highlights Challenges, Opportunities, and Cost-Modeling of Electronic Fisheries Monitoring Programs

One of the keys to effective fisheries management in the 21st century is accountability. Accountability requires having timely and accurate data. Electronic monitoring (EM) is gaining momentum in U.S. fisheries and abroad as an efficient means of meeting accountability requirements. Yet the ‘recipe’ for implementation of EM has not been perfected, and the price tag – and who pays – is not always clear. These challenges partly explain why the rate of uptake has been painfully slow, even as industry increasingly bears the brunt of human observer costs without any cheaper alternatives.

Recognizing the need to better understand the costs associated with EM, EDF’s Pacific team engaged a group of experts – Dr. Gil Sylvia, Dr. Michael Harte and Dr…. Read More »


Four New EM Program Summaries

In preparation for the 2nd National EM Workshop, we have just posted four new EM program summaries to their respective Region pages. They are:

  • Greater Atlantic EM Program Summary, November 2016
  • Atlantic HMS EM Program Summary, November 2016
  • Alaska Regional EM Summary, November 2016
  • West Coast EM Program Summary – November 2016
  • We are expecting 100 people at the workshop, hailing from all the NMFS fishery management regions. We have some folks coming in from Canada, and our furthest traveler is from New Zealand. I look forward to seeing many of you in Seattle, and rest assured we will post videos from the sessions here on EMInfo – just as soon as they are available – as well as a written summary of the workshop and sessions!

    Here is the agenda for the workshop: National EM Workshop Agenda, November 2016

    Best,

    Read More »