Your View: Electronic at-sea monitoring and the ‘observer dilemma’ – Frank Mirarchi, Jim Ford

The human monitoring program is outdated, expensive, and in need of an overhaul, but not eradication. Without an effective monitoring program, managers have no idea whether the fish caught and fish discarded are staying under the hard “biologically safe” annual catch limit prescribed by fisheries scientists. If the at-sea program were not eliminated, but instead replaced with electronic monitoring (EM), the entire program would work better for fishermen. Read the rest here 08:14

  • illusion1256

    While I don’t disagree with Frank that we need better science and the system does not produce good results but that is the fault of NOAA not the fishermen. The data that we do have supports what the fishermen are saying but that can’t be true because people that never go fishing say that we are hiding something.
    If these same people were getting the result they wanted they would not be calling for more observer coverage or electronic monitoring.
    As for cost the only report available was done by Archipelago Marine Research Ltd. and I believe Frank got paid to participate in this study. The projected cost to the average groundfish trawler $53,978 average is based on viewing 900 hours of video. This is on page 50 of, 2010 NORTHEAST MULTISPECIES FISHERY
    ELECTRONIC MONITORING PILOT STUDY if the number of hours of viewed video is increased the price goes up. 1800 hours will cost about $96,000 starting to get very expensive.
    If Frank is going to promote Electronic Monitoring he should at the very least make clear he was paid to do this.
    Mark Phillips F?V Illusion

    • illusion1256

      This is the award of contract to put EM on 135 longline vessels. This is only purchase and installation.

      Subject: Purchase and Installation of Electronic Monitoring (EM) Systems in the Pelagic Longline Fishery
      Solicitation Number: EA-133F-14-RQ-0510
      Award Number: EA-133F-14-SE-3331
      Award Amount: Total Contract Award (including options) $2,528,705.00
      Award Date: 080514
      Awardee: SALTWATER, INC., 733 N STREET, ANCHORAGE, AK 99501-3226