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‘Save the Date’ for the 3rd National Electronic Monitoring Workshop Series

The 3rd National Electronic Monitoring Workshop Series will engage and educate new participants and foster an environment for collaboration across different fisheries, fishermen and other stakeholders regarding the opportunities and challenges associated with electronic monitoring.

NOAA Fisheries announces two workshops focused on the use and implementation of electronic monitoring (EM) for U.S. fisheries. The first workshop will be held on the east coast with the support of the New England Fishery Management Council on November 13 – 14, 2019 at the Wentworth by the Sea in New Castle, New Hampshire.

A second workshop will be held in early 2020 in Seattle, Washington with the support of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. Workshop registration will be free and will open… Read More »


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Webinar Video: Designing Machine Learning into EM Programs: Recent advances and insights from two regions

In case you missed it, here’s the recording of our webinar which took place on August 1, 2019 2 PM EST. A big thanks to Brett, Farron, and Mark for their time and participation! We couldn’t get to all the audience questions during the Q&A section, so here are several of those, answered after-the-fact by our presenters: Supplementary Q&A .

Timestamps, for your reference:

Brett Alger, 1:34 Introduction to Electronic Monitoring in U.S. Fisheries

Farron Wallace, 14:30 Innovative Monitoring with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center and University of Washington

Mark Hager, 30:52 Building Efficiencies: Successes, Difficulties, and Recommendations from AI Development in the New England Groundfish EM Programs

Q&A Session, 52:00

We welcome your feedback & thoughts. Speaker-specific questions should be sent… Read More »


Designing Machine Learning into EM Programs: Recent advances and insights from two regions

Please register today and join us for this August 1st webinar.

Commercial fisheries are moving to implement electronic monitoring (EM) for fishery-dependent data collection. Among the substantive barriers for broad-scale implementation, however, are the high costs of video review, transmission, and storage. Currently, EM programs rely on labor-intensive (thus costly) processes, and there is a need to improve the timeliness of data management associated with new EM data streams.

This webinar will examine advances in incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), provide some lessons-learned, and give insights on how to develop AI-friendly EM programs. Drawing on recent developments and examples from Alaska and New England, it will be of interest to fishermen, fishery managers, scientists, data managers, equipment and… Read More »


Projects in the Field: Electronic Reporting for all! Catch Reporting in the US Caribbean

Projects in the Field is a series of independently produced articles profiling work supported by NFWF’s Electronic Monitoring & Reporting Grant Program, and is meant to raise awareness and support for these important initiatives. As always, your questions and comments are welcome.

“There’s an app for that” has almost become an everyday phrase in our technologically advanced times. In fisheries management, technology has also improved how our seafood catch is reported to local authorities. Traditional paper data collection for fisheries have proven inefficient. Paper surveys require significant staff resources to manually enter information into databases. Electronic logbooks have been around for many years, but not all fisheries, regions or countries use electronic reporting (ER) as the main means for catch… Read More »


Projects in the Field: Electronic Monitoring for Alaska’s Pot Cod Fishery

Projects in the Field is a series of independently produced articles profiling work supported by NFWF’s Electronic Monitoring & Reporting Grant Program, and is meant to raise awareness and support for these important initiatives. As always, your questions and comments are welcome.

In 2018 electronic monitoring (EM) was fully implemented in Alaska’s pot cod fishery, and fishermen, for the first time, could choose between carrying an EM system or an onboard observer to collect the data required to manage the fishery.   This is the story of how industry got the EM program they wanted, and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) got the data they needed.

The North Pacific Fisheries Association (NPFA) is a fishermen’s organization that represents the interests… Read More »


Projects in the Field: Implementing EM for Compliance Monitoring in the Bering Sea & Gulf of Alaska Shoreside Pollock Catcher Vessel Fisheries

Projects in the Field is a series of independently produced articles profiling work supported by NFWF’s Electronic Monitoring & Reporting Grant Program, and is meant to raise awareness and support for these important initiatives. As always, your questions and comments are welcome.

Over the course of 2019 and 2020, volunteer vessels from the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska pelagic pollock fisheries are participating in a National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) grant research project. This project was designed to first assess the efficacy of electronic monitoring for compliance with a full salmon prohibited species catch (PSC) retention requirement aboard pelagic trawl catcher vessels, and second, to identify key decisions related to operationalizing EM for compliance monitoring.

Context: Salmon bycatch… Read More »


EDF’s Smart Boat Initiative Releases Requests for Proposals to Engage in Technology Pilots

Environmental Defense Fund recently released Requests for Proposals for four pilot projects based in the Western U.S. and Alaska. These pilots aim to demonstrate the efficiency, efficacy, and practical implications of various ‘smart’ technologies for solving common fishery challenges. Details of the pilots follow:

Underwater Smart Cameras to Enable Real Time Bycatch Avoidance

Point of contact: Christopher Cusack ( ccusack@edf.org )Term: June 1st, 2019 to September 15th, 2019 with possible extensionFull RFP: [ link ]

  • Work with EDF and fishermen partners to design, implement, and test a set of AI tools and physical technologies to improve the automatic identification of real time bycatch in trawl fisheries
  • Analyze existing video footage to quantify the potential of an AI protocol to automatically identify salmon in the Alaska pollock fishery
  • Provide, install, and maintain… Read More »

  • Projects in the Field: EM Technology Advancements in the New England Groundfish Maximized Retention Program

    Projects in the Field is a series of independently produced articles profiling work supported by NFWF’s Electronic Monitoring & Reporting Grant Program, and is meant to raise awareness and support for these important initiatives. As always, your feedback is welcome.

    The Gulf of Maine Research institute (GMRI) is committed to developing Electronic Monitoring (EM) into a powerful and affordable fisheries monitoring tool. To date, many electronic monitoring efforts have failed to scale and have not proven cost effective due to technology constraints. Through their Maximized Retention EM Program, GMRI is addressing these constraints by utilizing advanced EM technology in the New England Multispecies Groundfish Fishery.

    The Maximized Retention EM Program is designed to improve the timeliness and accuracy of… Read More »


    Invitation to EDF’s Smart Boat Webinar

    The Environmental Defense Fund would like to invite you to participate in a webinar on Monday, April 22nd at 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time to discuss the recent launch of our Smart Boat Initiative .

    This webinar will explore our vision for revolutionizing sustainable fishing in the digital age, share lessons learned from testing technologies on the water and provide a glimpse into the Smart Boat Initiative’s next steps.

    We are pleased to be joined by Katie McGinty, Senior Vice President of Oceans at EDF; Christopher Cusack, Research and Development at EDF’s Fishery Solutions Center; Johanna Thomas, Interim Director of EDF’s U.S. Oceans Program; and Captain Bob Dooley, veteran commercial fisherman. We will also have a discussion during the webinar and welcome participants to… Read More »


    Design Considerations to Optimize Monitoring for Canada’s Pacific Region Fisheries

    McElderry, H and Meintzer, P. 2019. Unpublished report prepared for Fisheries and Oceans Canada by Archipelago Marine Fisheries Ltd., Victoria, BC. Canada. 40p.

    Download paper

    Executive Summary

    This paper is intended for the broad community of stakeholders who are involved in the design, implementation, operation, and evaluation of fishery monitoring programs. Although we focus on Canada’s Pacific Region as a case study for this paper, the methodology and observations we present apply to any fishery that is attempting to improve their catch monitoring systems. It is important to clarify that this paper is not intended to judge the adequacy of existing fishery monitoring systems, as we recognize that the choices made are often a trade-off between many factors…. Read More »