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 Unpublished report prepared for Fisheries and Oceans Canada by Archipelago Marine Fisheries Ltd., Victoria, BC.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 »

NFWF Webinar on Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program Priorities

National Fish & Wildlife Foundation established its  Electronic Monitoring and Reporting (EMR) Grant Program  in 2015 to encourage integration of technology into fisheries data collection and observations, and streamlining of data management. Since then, grants totaling over $11 million have supported a wide range of projects to advance e-technology in fishery data collection and data modernization.

NFWF will host a webinar on March 27 from 3 to 4:30pm to provide a review of past projects and priorities for the program. If EMR is in in your wheelhouse—or if you’re interested in designing new data systems or modernizing existing ones—this webinar is a must-attend. Even if you don’t currently have a proposal idea in mind, the webinar will spur some thinking.

Wednesday, March 27th, 3 PM Eastern Register here

NFWF’s partners in the EMR Grants Program include NOAA and Kingfisher Foundation. EMInformation… Read More »

Net Gains Alliance driving modernization of US fisheries information systems; seeks to unleash greater economic, social, environmental benefits

February 21, 2019 (Washington, D.C.) – A new initiative to accelerate modernization, implementation and adaptation of robust information systems to support improved management of ocean resources has just been launched by the Net Gains Alliance (NGA). NGA is working to spur modernization of America’s fisheries information system, an effort viewed as critical by industry and fisheries managers alike for further improving overall management and enhancing environmental, social and economic performance.

United States’ fisheries rely on a robust, science-based process for comprehensive and effective management. The diversity of information needs for fisheries management in the U.S. is increasing, as is the pace at which decisions are needed. Current information management systems can be enhanced to meet these evolving needs. This will help ensure that… Read More »

Gathering Fishery-Dependent Data in the Digital Age

From Kate Wing ( @kwing , the databranch ) comes this tweet, which we can hardly improve upon in introducing her latest project:

“It’s a guide to digitizing fisheries data collection! It’s [finally] ready for your comments! Pls share with your favorite #fish manager.”

So here is Gathering Fishery-Dependent Data in the Digital Age: A guide for managers and scientists .

From Kate’s intro:

Every day, more people are bringing digital data collection tools onboard fishing boats, from personal  mobile phones to systems of integrated cameras and gear sensors. For managers, scientists, fishers, and anyone involved in ocean conservation, this presents opportunities to bring faster, more accurate data into management. This guide is to help you think through which tools might make sense for your fishery, and what questions to ask before adopting them.

Published under… Read More »

Big Data for Dynamic Ocean Management

Tools like EcoCast are helping pave way for fishermen and scientists to realize the benefits of “big data.”

In an article by the Washington Post , “big data” is making strides in management and conservation efforts.

Thanks to satellite phones and other advances in communication technologies, managers and regulators are able to quickly communicate “fishing forecasts” with fishermen on the water. By making use of the massive amounts of the government’s ocean data, scientists can help fishermen determine areas they should fish to catch their target species. Likewise, the same data can help fishermen avoid areas where there might be high bycatch.

Click through to read more .

Seafood and Fisheries Emerging Technologies Conference

You have until January 25th to register!

The Seafood and Fisheries Emerging Technologies Conference started with a modest vision to explore and discover the potential of emerging, and potentially disruptive, technologies that could be applied to improve the conservation and management of our world’s fisheries.  While the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) led initial workshops and events, a broad coalition of Industry, Government, and Non-government institutions have come together to make the next event the biggest and best to date. Improvements in technology have almost always changed the world and this will be no different with respect to our oceans.  Are you ready for those changes?

Goals of the SAFET Conference

  • Improve and clarify the understanding of the existing MCS and supply chain… Read More »

  • NFWF Announces 2018 Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Slate

    The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminsitration (NOAA) and Kingfisher Foundation announced a 2018 round of funding for Electronic Monitoring and Reporting projects. Fifteen new fisheries conservation grants totaling $3.78 million were awarded, leveraging $5.05 million in match from the grantees and generating a total conservation impact of mree than $8.83 million.

    The Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program helps to integrate technology into U.S. fisheries data collection to improve fisheries management. This year’s projects will implement electronic technologies strategies and modernize data management systems.

    Grantees for this funding cycle are based from New England to Western Alaska and from Hawaii to Puerto Rico.

    Here is the full grant slate .


    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 »