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 ( )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 »

    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… 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 .