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Electronic Monitoring Program Toolkit: A Guide for Designing and Implementing Electronic Monitoring Programs

This comprehensive 15-page report published in October, 2018 by The Nature Conservancy walks the reader through design and implemenation of an EM program.

Download here

From the Introduction:

The majority of global fisheries lack the scientific and compliance data necessary for effective management. A variety of approaches and tools can facilitate data collection on the water and help ensure compliance, yet the use of human observers or other reporting or patrol options tend to be infrequently used, subject to bias and misreporting, and are typically expensive to employ. The lack of accurate on-the-water data collection hampers the ability of fishery managers to assess the health of fish stocks and to effectively manage fisheries, potentially resulting in… Read More »


Catalyzing the Growth of Electronic Monitoring in Fisheries

The Nature Conservancy and California Environmental Associates have released an outstanding new report.  Here is some introductory language:

This paper presents a brief overview of the current state of EM, the benefits of the technology, and the main barriers to broader adoption, as well as a set of recommendations to help catalyze the growth of EM in fisheries. Recommendations are organized around the primary barriers to adoption presented in the paper, and a set of overarching near-term priorities for catalyzing the growth of EM are offered at the end of the report. More than 40 EM experts representing NGOs, foundations, regulators, seafood and catch-sector companies, and EM providers were interviewed as a part of this project, and their perspectives have… Read More »


Electronic Monitoring Provision Included in International Measures to Conserve Atlantic Shortfin Mako Sharks

Mandatory EM in the U.S. Atlantic pelagic longline fishery provides a benefit over other international longline fleets.

In 2017, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) completed a stock assessment of North Atlantic shortfin mako sharks, finding that the stock was overfished and experiencing overfishing. This stock status was a marked change from the previous assessment and the resulting scientific advice called for a substantial reduction in catches of this species across all ICCAT fisheries. The urgent question facing delegations from the 52 countries participating in the ICCAT annual meeting became, what conservation measures could be adopted to end overfishing of shortfin mako sharks?

A number of delegations, including the United States, worked together to propose conservation measures requiring vessels… Read More »


Solicitation for Electronic Monitoring Cost Assessment

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… Read More »


Report and Presentations from IFOMC EM Workshop

Here is our report-out from the Electronic Monitoring Workshop convened in Vigo, Spain, at the International Fisheries Observation and Monitoring Conference, July 2018. Thanks to everyone who made this workshop such a success. We hope these materials will be of interest to EM/ER practitioners around the world who could not attend in Vigo, as well as those who were!

In addition to the summary report we’ve published below, you may download that report and several other items from the workshop here:

  • IFOMC EM Workshop Introductory Slides
  • Current State of Electronic Monitoring in the United States
  • Guiding Principles for Development of Electronic Monitoring Programs – The BC Groundfish Experience
  • Electronic Monitoring in the U.S. West Coast & Alaska Groundfish Fishery
  • Implementation of EM on fixed gear vessels in Alaska
  • Electronic Monitoring Onboard Tuna Purse Seine Fisheries- Standards & Capabilities
  • Summary Report of IFOMC EM Workshop
  • Electronic Monitoring Workshop Summary Vigo, Spain, July 2018

    Session Conveners: Howard McElderry, Brett Alger, Lisa Peterson, Courtney Paiva, Jennifer Mondragon, Gabriel Gomez

    Workshop Facilitator: Kate… Read More »


    Meet National Electronic Technologies Coordinator Brett Alger

    We are working with fishermen, the regional fishery management councils, and other partners to integrate technology into data collections and observations to improve the timeliness, quality, cost effectiveness, and accessibility of fishery-dependent data.  Electronic monitoring has clear potential to meet these challenges by incorporating cameras, gear sensors, and electronic reporting systems into fishing operations.  Since 2006, NOAA Fisheries has invested more than $27 million to develop and implement electronic technologies across the nation. We spoke with the National Electronic Technologies Coordinator, Brett Alger, to learn more about electronic monitoring and the future of technology in fishing.

    How long have you been involved in electronic monitoring and reporting?

    A camera that Alger helped install with Mark Hager from the Gulf of Marine… Read More »


    EM on the agenda at AFS Stakeholder Engagement Day in Atlantic CIty

    We thought we’d share this news release from the American Fisheries Society about their upcoming Stakeholder Engagement Day, an opportunity for a one-day, reduced rate admission to the AFS annual meeting in Atlantic City. Electronic monitoring is one of the topics to be covered in this day of collaborative discussions.

    ***

    Tuesday, August 21 is Stakeholder Engagement Day , which will allow fishing and aquaculture industry stakeholders to attend the meeting. Stakeholders will have the opportunity to learn about the latest research and issues impacting their industries, and discuss collaborative opportunities with scientists and fishery managers.

    Some of the topics and species that will be covered include: collaborative research, politics in fisheries management, stakeholder engagement, offshore energy development, resource surveys, electronic monitoring, summer flounder, black sea bass, sturgeon, lobster,… Read More »


    Developing EM for trawl fisheries off Alaska

    NPFMC pleased with first steps of EM development for trawl catcher vessels in the North Pacific

    At their meeting in Kodiak during June, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) received its first report from their new trawl Electronic Monitoring (EM) Workgroup. The EM Workgroup was reconstituted this April, to reflect a shift in focus from implementing EM on fixed gear vessels to developing EM on trawl catcher vessels in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.

    The group was also renamed the ‘ EM Committee .’

    To guide development of an EM program for trawl catcher vessels, the NPFMC adopted preliminary trawl EM objectives focused on:

  • improving salmon bycatch accounting;
  • reducing monitoring costs; and,
  • improving the overall quality of monitoring data.
  • Over time, trawl EM… Read More »


    The Fish Tech Groups List

    Our thanks to consultant/collaborator/facilitator Kate Wing, who has provided us with a master list of companies and organizations involved in fish tech . The list is available as a Google Sheet and will be updated regularly.

    Much of Kate’s work can be found at the databranch , a home she created for interdisciplinary conservation projects. She is also a coauthor – with fellow consultant Dorothy Lowman – of Modernizing U.S. Fisheries Data & Information Systems .

    About this list, Kate says, “It’s somewhat subjective in the interest of readability, and of course there is lots of tech you can use for fisheries that’s not expressly designed for fisheries and so not on this list. If you have additions or corrections, please send them my way.”

    You can reach Kate here by email , and @kwing on Twitter.


    A busy conference calendar as 2018 rolls on

    Three major events are coming up that our readers might be interested in. Here’s the lineup for June-September, and if you’re aware of others we’ve missed, please drop us a line!

    International Fisheries Observer and Monitoring Conference in Vigo, Spain

    Running from June 11-15, IFOMC is billed as “the premier international forum for working on the critical issues of fisheries observer programs, emerging monitoring technologies, and other approaches to fishery-dependent data collection and analyses.” The event’s primary sponsor this year is Marine Instruments, and the international steering committee roster can be found here . The conference program describes ten different panels or workshops devoted to monitoring issues.

    American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Atlantic City, New Jersey

    Slated for August 19-23, AFS 2018 will include a symposium chaired by Brett Alger, Electronic Reporting to Improve Catch Monitoring in Recreational Fisheries . The two-day symposium will convene stakeholders to… Read More »