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NFWF Announces More Than $3.59 Million in Grants from the Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program

Foundation awards 12 grants to improve fisheries data collection, storage, and management 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 9, 2017) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced more than $3.59 million in grants to implement voluntary and cost-shared electronic monitoring and reporting programs and data system developments in fisheries in 12 states and two U.S. territories. The grants will generate more than $3.15 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of more than $6.75 million.

The grants were awarded through the Electronic Monitoring and Reporting (EMR) Grant Program, a partnership between NFWF, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Kingfisher Foundation. This year’s projects will modernize fishery… Read More »


Notice to EM Service Providers Regarding Opportunities in the Northeast

EM and Observer Vendor Show January 30th in Portsmouth, NH

The Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO) and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) are evaluating the utility of Electronic Monitoring (EM) for catch monitoring on mid-water trawl vessels in the Atlantic herring and mackerel mid-water trawl fisheries.  The New England and Mid-Atlantic Councils have been interested in increasing monitoring in the herring and mackerel fisheries.  The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is working with the Councils to develop Industry-Funded Monitoring (IFM) through an Amendment in all New England and Mid-Atlantic fisheries (see Status_IFM_Amendment below).  A particular interest in this Amendment is increasing monitoring for the Atlantic herring and mackerel mid-water trawl fisheries due to concerns about bycatch of groundfish… Read More »


NOAA Issues Report from the National Electronic Monitoring Workshop

A diverse group of nearly 100 stakeholders gathered in Seattle in November 2016 to share information on what is working – and what challenges remain – in the implementation and integration of electronic monitoring technologies in fisheries observation.

This Second National EM Workshop was organized and planned by a steering committee of fishermen, managers, scientists, and fishery non-governmental organizations. It served as a follow-up to the First National EM Workshop, held in January 2014, which focused on encouraging the ongoing development of EM technologies.

The workshop featured ten panel discussions, organized both by region (Alaska, Atlantic HMS, Northeast, and West Coast) and topic (Considering Costs; Data Quality, Storage, and Retention; Emerging EM Programs; Program Design and Implementation; EM… Read More »


Electronic Monitoring Expands in Hawaii

EM is now on 19 vessels, spanning multiple fleets based out of Honolulu, with plans to continue expansion!

It has been about 11 months since the first EM system was installed on a Hawaii longline limited entry permitted vessel as part of a pre-implementation initiative. Since then, a total of 19 vessels have volunteered to take EM systems with them on all of their fishing trips. This fleet is split into two different fisheries, a 100% observed swordfish fishery, and a 20% observed tuna fishery. Both fisheries use extremely similar pelagic longline gear. Vessels range from about 50’-100’ and take trips ranging from 3-6 weeks, depending on target species. These EM systems are designed to capture all catch accounting data,… Read More »


Presentations from 2017 AFS Symposium: Emerging Technologies in Fisheries-Dependent Science and Catch Monitoring

Fisheries worldwide are seeking to improve catch data and regulatory compliance while managing costs. Electronic monitoring (EM) has clear potential to meet these challenges by incorporating cameras, sensors and electronic reporting systems into fishing operations. However, program development costs as well as the costs of human video review and video storage present significant barriers to moving EM programs forward.

At the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida in August, a symposium on Emerging Technologies in Fisheries-Dependent Science and Catch Monitoring brought together experts in electronic technologies and automated data processing to examine how ongoing efforts can improve fisheries-dependent data collection. Presenters explored the status and economics of current and developing EM programs; the evolution of EM hardware and software… Read More »


Proceedings of the 8th International Fisheries Observer and Monitoring Conference

Link to Proceedings: 8th-IFOMC-2016-Proceedings

The 8th International Fisheries Observer & Monitoring Conference took place in the Hotel Bahia Resort, San Diego, USA from 29th August to 2nd September, 2016.

The overarching Vision of this meeting was: To develop, promote and enhance effective fishery monitoring programs to ensure sustainable resource management throughout the world’s oceans.

The Mission Statement was: To improve fishery-monitoring programs worldwide through sharing of practices and development of new methods of data collection and analysis. To provide a forum for dialog between those responsible for monitoring fisheries and those who rely upon the data they collect.

The conference was an outstanding success involving 248 participants from 31 countries including representatives from many observer programs from around… Read More »


Update from New Zealand’s big EM rollout: ‘Fishing fraternity lens its weight to camera implementation’

Nelson Mail, August 30, 2017

The cost of rolling out monitoring cameras on their vessels is worrying Nelson’s smaller fishing operators who say the costs of installing them could push a number of them out of business.

Small inshore operators are concerned about the speed in which the government’s vessel monitoring system Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System (IEMRS), which became law in July, is being rolled out without adequate consultation.

Nelson-based inshore fisherman Fin Horder estimated it could cost him $20,000 to install and maintain the equipment. He also had concerns about privacy from being monitored 24 hours a day in a small space.

Horder helped organise a meeting last week to discuss the issues raised by the Ministry… Read More »


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 »