North Pacific / Alaska

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 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 »

Implementation of EM on fixed gear vessels in Alaska

A presentation by Jennifer Mondragon describing the process carried out in designing, piloting and implementing an EM program for a fleet of some 1,100 small vessels that target halibut and sablefish. This was presented at the IFOMC in Vigo, Spain, June 2018.

Download presentation

Electronic Monitoring in the U.S. West Coast and Alaska Groundfish Fishery

A poster prepared and presented by Courtney Palva and Dave Colpo of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission , at the International Fisheries Observer & Monitoring Conference, Vigo, Spain, June 2018.

Poster download link

Current State of Electronic Monitoring in the United States

A presentation by Brett Alger, NOAA Fisheries Electronic Monitoring Coordinator, June 13, 2018. delivered at the Electronic Monitoring Workshop section of the International Fisheries Observing and Monitoring Conference (IFOMC), Vigo, Spain.

Download link:  Current State of Electronic Monitoring in the United States

NOAA Issues Report from the National Electronic Monitoring Workshop

A diverse group of nearly 100 stakeholders gathered in Seattle in November 2016 to share information on what is working – and what challenges remain – in the implementation and integration of electronic monitoring technologies in fisheries observation.

This Second National EM Workshop was organized and planned by a steering committee of fishermen, managers, scientists, and fishery non-governmental organizations. It served as a follow-up to the First National EM Workshop, held in January 2014, which focused on encouraging the ongoing development of EM technologies.

The workshop featured ten panel discussions, organized both by region (Alaska, Atlantic HMS, Northeast, and West Coast) and topic (Considering Costs; Data Quality, Storage, and Retention; Emerging EM Programs; Program Design and Implementation; EM… Read More »

Implementing EM for the Alaska Pot Cod Fleet

The North Pacific Fisheries Association (NPFA), a fishermen’s organization, and Saltwater Inc., an observer and EM service provider, received funding in 2016 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to implement electronic monitoring (EM) in Alaska’s pot cod fishery.

The project highlights skipper engagement, integration of observers into the EM program, cross training of skilled EM personnel, a streamlined feedback loop between vessels and data, and local data review. A progress report, Implementing EM For Alaska’s Pot Cod Fleet, details key aspects of the program and is available at the link below.

Implementing EM for Alaska’s Pot Cod Fleet

For more information about this implementation, contact Abigail Turner – –  or Nancy Munro – .

Alaska Fish Factor: Preparing to go electric

By Laine Welch, reprinted with permission, Alaska Fish Factor

Automation is coming to Alaska fishing boats in the form of cameras and sensors to track what’s coming and going over the rails.

Starting next year, Electronic Monitoring systems (EM) can officially replace human observers as fishery data collectors on Alaska boats using longline and pot gear. Vessel operators who do not voluntarily switch to EMS remain subject to human observer coverage on randomly selected fishing trips.

The onboard observer requirement originally included vessels 59 feet and larger, but was restructured in 2013 to include boats down to 40 feet and, for the first time, was applied to the halibut fishery.

“Those smaller vessels have had a hard time accommodating human observers so… Read More »