Papers & Presentations

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 »


PowerPoint: Cloud and Machine Learning Technologies for Electronic Monitoring Data Processing and Analysis

A Cloud and Machine Learning-based Electronic Monitoring (EM) system that enables effective monitoring of the compliance of commercial tuna fishing was developed for NOAA Fisheries. HD video and GPS location trace data are pre-processed, with quality control via a scalable computing cluster Data Pre-Processing System, as part of a hybrid cloud solution for this EM system. The quality controlled video data and its metadata are ingested into Amazon GovCloud S3 storage. GovCloud elastic servers and other PaaS and IaaS services are used to facilitate EM data analysis and review. Machine learning-based Activity Recognition (AR) is another key solution in the EM system. AR detects and classifies fish capturing activities, tags the video segments containing fishing events, and performs… Read More »


PowerPoint: Technology Investments for Tomorrow’s EM Programs

Expanding information needs in commercial fisheries has led to the introduction of EM as a rapidly growing alternative to observer programs. EM is still in its infancy and while EM and observers seek to achieve similar information outputs they are fundamentally different programs in terms of design, operational needs and cost. A successfully implemented operational EM program is the result of optimizing data needs (quantity, quality, and timeliness) with the fishery characteristics, the technology, the operational requirements to support the deployment of EM and available funds.

A multitude of studies has shown that many of the standard fishery information needs can be successfully achieved using EM. Future technology investments hold promise for improving information quality, gathering new types… Read More »


PowerPoint: It’s All Connected- Saltwater Inc. Electronic Monitoring

Technology has changed the way Saltwater does business – literally — from collecting fisheries data with onboard and shoreside observers to working with both observers and electronic monitoring systems.

With EM, we operate at the intersection between fishery managers and fishermen, between policy and implementation, and between all the data one might want and what can be collected, reviewed, and stored at a reasonable cost. We design and build EM systems and software, install them on boats, train skippers, provide ongoing technical support, and review and analyze data. We consider it our job to continually look for ways to make the collection and use of EM data better, faster, and cheaper. More and better data increases the odds… Read More »


PowerPoint: What You Get for What You Pay

Accurate catch monitoring is critical to successful management of output controlled fisheries. Since adopting such a system with the implementation of catch shares in 2010, monitoring in the New England groundfish fishery has been conducted with at sea monitors. These human observers use multiple methods to estimate kept catch and discards leading to varying levels of data quality. As New England transitions from agency to industry funded monitoring programs, additional scrutiny has been placed on the costs of collecting these data. In an effort to explore potential cost savings, pilot programs have used cameras, GPS and sensors to electronically monitor catch. We analyze the cost efficiency of numerous monitoring strategies accounting for differences in quality of the data collected…. Read More »


PowerPoint: Seatube – Satlink’s on Board Electronic Monitoring and Video Recording Solution

Satlink is a Spanish engineering company that develops technological solutions in collaboration with the fishing industry, NGOs and governments worldwide. These solutions support seafood traceability and manage, optimize and preserve fish resources.

The Satlink SeaTube System is a cost effective on-board Electronic Monitoring (EM) and video recording solution for commercial fisheries. In addition to being a compliance monitoring system, SeaTube also allows the vessel’s owner to view vessel activity from a PC in the office.

Satlink has teamed up with Digital Observer Services (DOS), an independent consultancy company and provider of EM services. DOS provides video review services as well as training and software support to organizations wanting to perform their own video reviews and analyses.

The SeaTube EM system with support from DOS… Read More »


PowerPoint: Machine Learning for Big Fishery Visual Data


PowerPoint: Utilizing Wireless Technologies to Monitor New England Groundfish

Once a profitable fishery supporting coastal communities, the groundfish fishery in New England is in crisis. One factor is the mixed stock nature of the fishery where stocks with low catch limits constrain the harvest of more abundant stocks. In addition, climate-mediated changes in this region are unprecedented, and the impacts on marine fisheries resources, such as changes in distribution and productivity, are increasing. There is a need for more comprehensive and accurate data collection to understand the current and future state of the Gulf of Maine fishery resources. Adaptive electronic tools can help address these data gaps. The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) has begun developing an extension of traditional electronic monitoring (EM), called the Fisheries… Read More »


PowerPoint: Integrated Operational Approach to EM & ER Onboard Fishing Vessels-Now and Tomorrow

Fisheries management is plagued by lack of verifiable data for compliance and stock assessments. Low vessel observer coverage, and delays in data transfer, transcription, integration, and analysis are the norm. These problems hinder timely analysis and updates of fishing regulations relevant to existing stocks. Fishing capacity is increasing around the world; incidental catches of protected species, bycatch discard, and IUU are critical issues. Technological advances and cost reduction bring much opportunity applicable to the fishing industry. The authors developed an integrated EMR solution and several technologies will be discussed.

Paper logbooks are limited to alphanumerical content and suffer from accuracy concerns. Electronic reporting (ER) replaces paper logbooks and allows for enhanced data entry and timely delivery. Electronic monitoring (EM) entails… Read More »


PowerPoint: Open Source Software Platform for Electronic Monitoring

Sea State Inc. has developed a suite of software applications to support commercial fisheries electronic monitoring (EM) data acquisition, review, summarization and archival. This National Fish and Wildlife Foundation funded project, in partnership with Saltwater Inc. and Chordata LLC, provides a platform that is adaptable to marine fisheries nationwide. The source code is available under the Gnu Public License, ensuring that all future enhancements will be open source as well.

The shipboard component of the software works on a wide range of hardware: from simple data-loggers without cameras up to systems with eight or more cameras. It is designed for flexibility – system behavior is controlled by configuration rules based on data from GPS, hydraulic pressure, reel rotation and video… Read More »