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Electronic Monitoring Pilot Study - National Marine Fisheries Service ...

Electronic Monitoring Pilot Study - National Marine Fisheries Service ...

Electronic Monitoring Pilot Study - National Marine Fisheries Service

North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer ProgramElectronic Monitoring Pilot StudySustainableFisheriesTo Find More Information:• For more information contact:Farron Wallace (206) 526-4295 orElizabeth Chilton (206) 526-4197Alaska Fisheries Science CenterFor more information, please visit: Observer Program and the ObserverProgram regulations:http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/observers/ Electronic Monitoring (EM):http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/em/default.htmBackgroundThe importance of sustainable Alaskan seafood to the Nation cannot easily beunderstated. For example, nearly half of the Gross Domestic Product of groundfish inthe U.S. hails from Alaska, and seaports from the State routinely rank among thehighest in terms of annual volume and value. Sustainable seafood requires that sciencebasedmanagement, such as that used in Alaska be maintained. Part of thismanagement involves the monitoring of fishing activities so that reliable estimates ofcatch and discards are available for in-season managers and stock assessors.NMFS and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) support theintegration of Electronic Monitoring (EM) into the new Observer Program, whichbegins in 2013. Compared to a human observer, EM technologies offer a way to obtainindependent fishery data on board vessels where space is limited and/or safety is aconcern. The NMFS Observer Program at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center isdeveloping EM technologies in conjunction with Saltwater Inc. to collect catch andfishing effort data aboard commercial vessels.Field operations for the EM project began April 1 st , 2013, will continue through 2014and its success is entirely dependent on volunteer vessel participation.What are the goals of this study?Before implementing any monitoring program it is necessary to conduct an initial pilotproject to analyze specific requirements and costs that are used to inform the finaldesign and application to specific fisheries. The electronic monitoring (EM) system inthis study is designed to collect data about catch and discards, vessel location, andfishing activity.This project will test the feasibility of an EM camera based approach to gatherinformation on the location and magnitude of catch and discard. Cameras, GPS andautonomous gear sensors will be installed on vessels in various configurations toestablish the most reliable method to determine and record catch and effort information.The data collected from cameras will be used to evaluate whether haul-specific amountsof catch and discard can be estimated using video information. If shown to beappropriate, the monitoring tool is intended to provide independent spatial fishinginformation on retained and discarded catch.The information collected from this study will also be used to develop performancestandards for regulations, which will be required to ensure data quality and suitability.Specific regulations will describe vessel operators’ responsibilities for maintenance ofthe system, installation requirements for camera placement and specifichardware/software specifications. The study is also designed to inform the logisticalintegration of camera based data into the information that is used for catch accountingand fisheries management, including data storage requirements and data processingprocedures that are needed to extract data from video images.In addition, all costs associated with the system, it’s installation and replacement willbe closely examined and tracked to identify any cost savings and to project future costs.Cost related to EM data collection, data storage and post processing will be closelymonitored over the duration of the study to enable full evaluate the cost benefits of EM.U.S. Department of Commerce | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | National Marine Fisheries Service

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