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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 »


    Catalyzing the Growth of Electronic Monitoring in Fisheries

    The Nature Conservancy and California Environmental Associates have released an outstanding new report.  Here is some introductory language:

    This paper presents a brief overview of the current state of EM, the benefits of the technology, and the main barriers to broader adoption, as well as a set of recommendations to help catalyze the growth of EM in fisheries. Recommendations are organized around the primary barriers to adoption presented in the paper, and a set of overarching near-term priorities for catalyzing the growth of EM are offered at the end of the report. More than 40 EM experts representing NGOs, foundations, regulators, seafood and catch-sector companies, and EM providers were interviewed as a part of this project, and their perspectives have… Read More »


    Electronic Monitoring Provision Included in International Measures to Conserve Atlantic Shortfin Mako Sharks

    Mandatory EM in the U.S. Atlantic pelagic longline fishery provides a benefit over other international longline fleets.

    In 2017, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) completed a stock assessment of North Atlantic shortfin mako sharks, finding that the stock was overfished and experiencing overfishing. This stock status was a marked change from the previous assessment and the resulting scientific advice called for a substantial reduction in catches of this species across all ICCAT fisheries. The urgent question facing delegations from the 52 countries participating in the ICCAT annual meeting became, what conservation measures could be adopted to end overfishing of shortfin mako sharks?

    A number of delegations, including the United States, worked together to propose conservation measures requiring vessels… Read More »


    Solicitation for Electronic Monitoring Cost Assessment

    The Nature Conservancy is seeking a contractor to conduct a cost assessment of Electronic Monitoring Systems in the New England Groundfish Fishery.

    The New England Fisheries Management Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service are in the process of updating the groundfish fishery monitoring program through Amendment 23 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery. The purpose of Amendment 23 is to implement measures to improve reliability and accountability of catch reporting and to ensure a precise and accurate representation of catch (landings and discards). Electronic monitoring systems are being considered as a potential monitoring tool to help achieve these desired outcomes. The goal of this project is to provide additional information for fishery managers and other stakeholders on potential costs associated… Read More »


    Report and Presentations from IFOMC EM Workshop

    Here is our report-out from the Electronic Monitoring Workshop convened in Vigo, Spain, at the International Fisheries Observation and Monitoring Conference, July 2018. Thanks to everyone who made this workshop such a success. We hope these materials will be of interest to EM/ER practitioners around the world who could not attend in Vigo, as well as those who were!

    In addition to the summary report we’ve published below, you may download that report and several other items from the workshop here:

  • IFOMC EM Workshop Introductory Slides
  • Current State of Electronic Monitoring in the United States
  • Guiding Principles for Development of Electronic Monitoring Programs – The BC Groundfish Experience
  • Electronic Monitoring in the U.S. West Coast & Alaska Groundfish Fishery
  • Implementation of EM on fixed gear vessels in Alaska
  • Electronic Monitoring Onboard Tuna Purse Seine Fisheries- Standards & Capabilities
  • Summary Report of IFOMC EM Workshop
  • Electronic Monitoring Workshop Summary Vigo, Spain, July 2018

    Session Conveners: Howard McElderry, Brett Alger, Lisa Peterson, Courtney Paiva, Jennifer Mondragon, Gabriel Gomez

    Workshop Facilitator: Kate… Read More »


    Meet National Electronic Technologies Coordinator Brett Alger

    We are working with fishermen, the regional fishery management councils, and other partners to integrate technology into data collections and observations to improve the timeliness, quality, cost effectiveness, and accessibility of fishery-dependent data.  Electronic monitoring has clear potential to meet these challenges by incorporating cameras, gear sensors, and electronic reporting systems into fishing operations.  Since 2006, NOAA Fisheries has invested more than $27 million to develop and implement electronic technologies across the nation. We spoke with the National Electronic Technologies Coordinator, Brett Alger, to learn more about electronic monitoring and the future of technology in fishing.

    How long have you been involved in electronic monitoring and reporting?

    A camera that Alger helped install with Mark Hager from the Gulf of Marine… Read More »