The Pacific Fishery Management Council heard updates on an exempted fishing permit (EFP) and took final action to approve electronic monitoring (EM) in the bottom trawl and non-whiting midwater trawl fisheries. The Council is meeting this week in Sacramento, Calif.
Fishermen, regulators and NGOs like Environmental Defense Fund and The Nature Conservancy have long been interested in EM’s potential as an alternative to the 100 percent human observer coverage requirement for fishing vessels targeting groundfish in the two trawl sectors. This is a follow-on to the Council’s 2016 action authorizing EM for the fixed gear and whiting sectors of the fleet, and once implemented will allow anyone in the West Coast trawl groundfish… Read More »
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Susan Chambers – April 22, 2016
The Pacific Fishery Management Council voted earlier this month to allow three West Coast commercial fishing fleets to employ camera-based electronic monitoring systems. Beginning in 2017, commercial fishing vessels can substitute cameras for human observers. This move is designed to simplify logistics, reduce costs and increase profits for fishermen.
As of 2017, the fixed-gear, shore-based whiting trawl and mothership catcher vessel fleets will no longer be required to carry human observers on fishing trips, as they currently do under the “full accountability” fishery management system that regulates these fleets.
“This is precedent-setting because it’s the first Council-authorized electronic monitoring system to move from pilot project to full implementation in U.S. waters for… Read More »
The Pacific Fishery Management Council has made tremendous progress toward EM implementation since the National EM Workshop, particularly at its June 2014 meeting. The Council approved four Exempted Fishing Permits (EFPs) to implement EM on certain vessels in the midwater whiting, bottom trawl, and fixed-gear groundfish sectors. These EFPs will test the relative costs and benefits of different options for some monitoring program components, such as maximized vs. optimized retention, the video audit rate, and cooperative enforcement. Going forward, the EFP applicants will continue to work with NMFS on refining their applications and developing terms and conditions for their exemption from the 100% observer coverage requirement.
The Pacific Council also received the final 2013 Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) report on their 2013 EM… Read More »