Tag Archives: electronic monitoring

Battlefront: Salmon bycatch, electronic monitoring on the table at Sitka meeting of NPFMC

The bycatch of chinook and chum salmon is on the agenda, as the spring meeting of the North Pacific Management Council gets underway in Sitka this week (June 9-14). In addition to hearing how much salmon is being intercepted in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea by the trawl fisheries, the council will review a proposal to supplement the human observer program with electronic monitoring. >click to read< Note: Find links to the Council’s agenda and meeting livestream here.

Catch-App: “Government are going to make us criminals,” fear English fishermen

English fishermen are deeply concerned that new regulations regarding the enforcement of Catch-App will turn them into criminals. Fishermen across England are deeply concerned as the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) the Government’s fishing regulator in England, sets the date of 28 February 2022 for the enforcement stage of the Catch-App which could leave them facing prosecutions they cannot avoid. Leading fisheries solicitor Andrew Oliver, partner of Hull based firm Andrew Jackson questioned the legal implications of the regulations. “This is a clear breach of human rights. It is against public law principles to create a criminal offence for which it is impossible to comply with. >click to read< 07:06

Electronic Monitoring: Hearings set for new electronic lobster boat tracking rules

An arm of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is considering implementing the tracking requirements for lobster and Jonah crab boats that have federal permits. A Jan. 19 hearing will be held via webinar and in person at the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The other hearings will be held virtually. Others are slated for mid-Atlantic states, Maine and Massachusetts and Rhode Island. >click to read< 16:15

Electronic Monitoring: Who Gets to Use Our Oceans?

Much of the current effort to create coordinated planning for use of our oceans started in 2010, when President Obama issued an executive order that called for the development of “coastal and marine spatial plans.” The idea is to figure out where to put things like aquaculture and wind farms without harming other things such as fisheries. In early August, the ASMFC announced that it’s considering a plan to require electronic tracking devices on federally permitted vessels that operate in American lobster and Jonah crab fisheries. Most of the lobster fishermen to be impacted are in Maine, and while they’ve expected the tracking plan to go into motion for some time now, Porter says, “there will be some seriously pissed-off lobstermen when this actually hits the ground.” >click to read< 09:21

Electronic Monitoring of the Lobster fishery, Tracking of the Red Shrimp fishery to be imposed

America’s lobster fishing businesses could be subjected to electronic tracking requirements to try to protect vulnerable right whales and get a better idea of the population of the valuable crustaceans. The fishery has collapsed in southern New England, however. Fishermen from New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island were once a significant part of the fishery,,, >click to read<The American red-spotted shrimp fishery may be subject to electronic tracking requirements to protect vulnerable right whales and better understand precious crustacean populations. However, fishing has collapsed in southern New England. Fishermen in New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island used to be an important part of the fishing industry, Starks said, but the stock of red-spotted shrimp in southern New England is now depleted. Scientists have linked the collapse of fishing in southern New England to warming seawater. >click to read< 10:50

The Last of the Port Clyde Groundfishermen – Once robust, Maine’s groundfishery is on the ropes

When Randy Cushman was growing up in Port Clyde, some 300 trawlers were moored up and down Maine’s coast,,, Today, Cushman is 59 years old and might be Maine’s most knowledgeable commercial fishermen.,, But Cushman is barely scraping by. Prices for cod, flounder, and other groundfish have all but collapsed in Maine. The combination of rock-bottom prices, the need to protect the state’s fish stocks, and a dearth of fishing infrastructure make it harder than ever to be a fisherman here. Today, the robust Maine trawler fleet of Cushman’s youth has been reduced to around 30 boats. photos, >click to read< 14:21

Electronic Monitoring in New Zealand: “not excusable” some skippers are fishing in protected areas

It comes as data obtained under the Official Information Act shows the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is investigating a set netting vessel in the South Island. It alleges it fished in both a dolphin-protected area and a marine reserve. “It’s not excusable at all,” chief executive Dr Jeremy Helson says. “We will work with MPI and the companies to make sure skippers and crew understand their responsibilities.” In December last year, new electronic monitoring rules came into place for 860 commercial fishing vessels, meaning the movements of vessels were tracked by the Ministry for Primary Industries. >click to read< 09:16 – Commercial fishing vessel offences 10-times higher after Ministry for Primary Industries starts tracking location information>click to read<

Electronic monitoring long-awaited boon for Cape Cod fishermen

Cape fishermen first started advocating for the use of electronic monitoring in 2006, said Melissa Sanderson, chief operating officer of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance. “I would say it’s a long time coming,” said Sanderson of the 14 years it took to finally have approval. But six years ago, Maine fishermen revived interest with their own pilot program and Cape fishermen joined the following year using equipment and technical support provided by The Nature Conservancy and grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. >click to read< 09:09

NEFMC votes to set a future target of 100% monitoring coverage on sector based groundfish vessels

The council, deliberating online via webinar on Amendment 23, overwhelmingly approved the motion for its preferred alternative of 100% coverage level for sector vessels in the Northeast Multispecies groundfish fishery. But the motion, crafted through a morning and afternoon of rulemaking on the fly, included a valuable caveat for fishermen: The region’s commercial groundfish harvesters likely won’t have to pay the full costs for the monitoring for the first four years the amendment is in effect or as long as supporting federal funds last. According to the approved measure, the commercial fishing industry will receive federal reimbursements, or money from other federal mechanisms, for 100% of their electronic monitoring costs and 100% of their at-sea monitoring costs in the first four fishing years the amendment is in effect. >click to read< 07:41

NZ First could put the brakes on the extension of cameras on more boats, depending on outcome of election

New Zealand First has long resisted cameras, but has now agreed with Labour to extend their use. But the party’s fishing spokesperson, Shane Jones, said he would be watching the process closely to make sure it did not handicap the economy. It was important to keep earnings by the primary sector strong, for the benefit of New Zealand as a whole, he said. “The installation of cameras on fishing boats needs to driven by a robust appraisal … and careful analysis of what is the business case (for them),” he said. “In this post Covid environment it is incredibly important that revenue is delivered with gusto. >click to read< 13:50

New Zealand Government to pay up to $60 million to install cameras on commercial fishing boats

Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash has announced a large cash investment from the Government to roll out cameras on commercial fishing vessels. The cameras will be used to monitor any breach of fishing quotas by operators. Nash said the funding would make a real difference, but defended the delay in making it happen. “This isn’t simply a matter of just about getting a go-pro and a selfie stick and away you go, we’re talking about cameras that are operating in the harshest of environment, we’re talking about up to 700G of data that has to be transferred from the boat per month, from the boat to some sort of storage site, it has to be viewed. >click to read< 20:35

Fishermen, state leaders push back against at-sea monitoring proposal

The New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC) is considering Amendment 23 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) that would require groundfishing vessels to implement 100% at-sea monitoring or a blended approach of at-sea monitoring and electronic monitoring. The proposed change seeks to improve catch accountability in the fishery, but fishermen argue this particular proposal is overly burdensome and unnecessary to achieve the stated goal,,, Overall, fishermen across Massachusetts fear this proposed policy would incur overly burdensome costs on an already struggling fleet, accelerating the expiration date of the fishery.” >click to read< 11:52

Opinion: Been a lot about the Observer Program out there lately. My question is, why are they needed?!!

When our boats come to unload their catch, NOAA people are there to report their landings, and if they caught too much haddock, cod or flounder, or other species that are not allowed, the owner could face a fine. Of course, Electronic monitoring is an alternative to that. This would show what they caught each and every tow, thus not needing an observer that many can’t afford, and second it should be a NOAA financial obligation, not placed on our fishermen. There are so few of them left. There is a lot to think about, but the bottom line is, it should be a financial obligation of the government to harvest the government required data. Thank You, Sam Parisi, Gloucester 19:15

Increase in observer fees has people in the fishing industry questioning how their dollars are being spent

In Kodiak’s Dog Bay harbor Jake Everich is puttering around the galley of his trawler, the Alaskan. He bought his boat in March to fish for rockfish and pollock around the Gulf of Alaska. It’s just under 75 feet — a relatively small operation. Everich is among the fishermen affected by a recent decision from the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to increase observer fees from 1.25 to 1.65 percent of their catch value.,,, For Everich, the bigger issue is how that money is going to be used. He says the data observers collect, and sometimes observers themselves, can be unreliable.  >click to read< 07:10

Groundfishermen not hooked by monitoring alternatives

For more than two years, the New England Fishery Management Council has worked on an intricate groundfish monitoring amendment that could have wide-scale economic and regulatory consequences for groundfishermen. It has been a thorny, winding path that involves a host of groundfish committees, plan development teams and assorted staff within the far-flung fisheries regulatory landscape. Now a group of groundfishermen are weighing in. And they are not pleased. >click to read<07:53

Complaints about ‘chalky’ halibut draw attention from international commission

After years of hearing concerns from fishermen about the prevalence of “chalky” Pacific halibut, the International Pacific Halibut Commission is planning to gather information for an investigation into it. Chalky halibut are fish that, when cut open, have a stiff, chalk-textured flesh as opposed to the normal pale and tender flesh. Chalky meat is not dangerous to humans but is not desirable and thus costs the fishermen at the dock. Dr. Josep Planas, who heads up biological research for the IPHC, noted plans to gather information about chalky halibut from stakeholders,, >click to read<16:07

LETTER: Clam fishermen put forth proposal that protects the resource

Last week, the New England Fishery Management Council voted to kick Massachusetts surf clam fishermen off of 80 percent of our historic Nantucket Shoals fishing grounds. Our fishery in these treacherous local waters grosses $10 million per year to the dozen or so boats and their crews, and multiples more to the South Coast fishing economy. Our catch is hand-shucked for a higher value. New Bedford, Fall River, Gloucester, and Bristol, R.I. families stand to lose hundreds of jobs. While the council’s decision was based on habitat considerations, it rejected an option that would have allowed us to fish on about 80 percent of the available surf clam resource while allowing access to less than 20 percent of the overall habitat zone. >click to read<19:45

Developing Machine Vision to Collect More Timely Fisheries Data

Government scientists, academia, and fishermen are working together to develop innovative monitoring tools to identify and measure fish from digital images. This technology could revolutionize the way fisheries data are collected. Machine vision technology advances electronic monitoring systems on fishing vessels, which use cameras to collect video of commercial catches. With this technology, scientists are able to automate image analysis at sea eliminating manual data processing on land, and providing quicker access to data to make management decisions. >click to read<09:15

Govt considering ditching fishing boat camera plans

The government is considering scrapping the rollout of cameras on commercial fishing vessels altogether. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash said many in the fishing industry were unhappy with the camera proposal and all options were on the table – including dumping it entirely. One of Mr Nash’s first moves when he became the Fisheries Minister was to put the brakes on the rollout of electronic monitoring of the commercial fishing fleet.,, “We could continue the project as it is, we could delay it – at the extreme we could dump it.” >click to read<18:44

Education key to electronic reporting, monitoring systems

In a perfect world, Steve Kennelly sees the New England Fishery transitioning to electronic reporting within the next year. “There’s no reason why that group can’t be formed pretty soon,” the director of IC Independent Consulting said. The next step would be implementing electronic monitoring within 3 to 4 years. “It’s silly to talk anywhere beyond five years out” because of how fast technology continues to evolve, Kennelly said. The New England Fishery Management Council, which concluded two days of meetings on Wednesday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, resides in an imperfect world, though. >click here to read< 18:34 

Oceantech company offers benefits for lobster industry

When Premier Stephen McNeil toured the Volta Labs startup house in Halifax last month, one company that seemed to catch his eye was SeaSmart, a new oceantech company based in Mahone Bay. Led by CEO Mark Lowe, the SeaSmart team has developed “smart lobster traps” that contain sensors to tell whether lobsters have entered the trap. The system tells fishermen, while they are still on dry land, whether there is enough product in their traps to justify going out to sea to harvest them. >click here to read<23:00

Labour to pause rollout of fish monitoring system

The fishing industry has got the pause it wanted to a system of electronic monitoring and reporting of fishing catches. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash has instructed Ministry for Primary Industries officials to look at options for slowing down the implementation of IEMRS (Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System) on commercial fishing vessels.,, All commercial fishers were going to be required to use Geospatial Position Reporting and e-logbooks by April 1, 2018, and cameras by October 1, 2018. click here to read the story 09:01

Leaked fishing camera report ‘sound’, top advisor said

The report, carried out by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), was leaked to Greenpeace in June. It raised doubts about whether camera technology on fishing boats would be much use in court as evidence of illegal fishing. MPI later called the report “misleading” and poor quality, and Mr Guy said scientists had binned it. But in emails released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act, a top science advisor described the report as “robust and sound”. The camera technology will be rolled out on all boats from October 2018. The minister’s spokesperson said they could be used to spot some fishing offences, and would have a strong deterrent effect. click here to read the story 11:09

Governor Baker: Codfather windfall should fund electronic monitoring

Baker, in a letter to federal fishing regulators late last month, sided with a dozen state lawmakers and local officials who are urging the proceeds from the forfeiture of Rafael’s fishing fleet and any financial penalties tied to his case to be used to pay for electronic catch monitoring. The money to pay for monitoring would relieve a major financial pressure on the state’s fishermen who have to pay for at-sea monitors who ensure compliance with catch-quotas designed to protect the health of groundfish stock. click here to read the story 18:25

Small scale NZ commercial fishers worried new video surveillance will give away their best spots

New regulations to digitally monitor commercial fishing boats are worrying some small-scale operators, who suspect constant video surveillance may give away their best fishing locations. But the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) argues controls are necessary to guard against overfishing. Hayley and Carey are cod and tuna fishers, who feel MPI’s constant new electronic monitoring and reporting regulations are too intrusive and expensive. “The thought of that actually is abhorrent to me, we live on this vessel a lot while we are at sea,” Carey Nelson says. Video, click here to read the story 08:55

Your View: Even ‘smart’ video monitoring is onerous to fishermen

I would like to make several observations regarding Michael Bonner’s Aug. 21 article, “Delegation supports Rafael’s forfeiture toward electronic monitoring.” First of all, state legislators’ support for utilizing the forfeiture to fund the electronic monitoring (surveillance), presupposes that this form of electronic monitoring will be supported and adopted. It surely does not seem to be the favored choice of monitoring, as far as the groundfish industry is concerned. In fact, they are not in favor of any form of monitoring that has been proposed to date. NOAA fisheries Regional Administrator John Bullard (soon to be retiring) is quoted as saying that he thinks that video monitoring is a major benefit to the industry. I’m not sure who he thinks he’s going to convince with that statement. Surely not the fishing industry. If that were the case, New Hampshire fisherman David Goethel likely would not be requesting that this “benefit” be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, click here to read the op-ed by Jim Kendall 19:04

Mass delegation supports putting Carlos Rafael’s forfeiture toward electronic monitoring

John Bullard wants to arm fishing vessels with a smartphone — figuratively speaking. “Nobody has rotary phones anymore, we just assume smartphones are the way we communicate and all the benefits of smartphones we’ve come to expect as normal,” Bullard said. ”(Electronic monitoring) is what we’re going to transition to, but it’s going to take time.” NOAA’s Northeast Regional director said he believes current methods can lead to inaccurate science. Last week, NOAA conducted a fishing stock assessment meeting in New Bedford where similar concerns of bad science emerged. The root of the concern was data from false reports. Electronic monitoring, specifically cameras on vessels, would provide accurate information. click here to read the story 21:39

Feeding the data gluttons

I see the Ministry for Primary Industries is claiming it needs GPS tracking and cameras on commercial fishing boats to better monitor the fisheries and make better and more timely decisions. I say this is rubbish as we already give them tow by tow GPS coordinates and catch estimates in the trawl fishery and they do not use this information now. As for timely management decisions, well that’s a joke. Our elephant quota has been out of balance with catches for over 20 years. I spend more time avoiding fish than I do catching it. click here to read the letter 14:30

New Zealand: MPI agree to meet Southland fishermen over electronic monitoring regulations

Ministry for Primary Industries staff have agreed to front up to Southland fishermen who have questions about new monitoring and reporting regulations. From October 6, new measures will be rolled in to ensure that all commercial fishing boats are fitted with both GPS equipment and cameras, to improve monitoring of catch levels and to help prevent any illegal activity. More than 100 fishermen, from throughout Southland, met at the Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill last week to discuss the implications of the ministry’s new Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System (IEMRS). Many in the commercial fishing industry were frustrated at the fact the new rules had been decided on without proper consultation or thought to their consequences.  click here to read the story 09:43

Electronic Monitoring – New fishing regulations bring opposition in Southland

Some southern fishermen say new government regulations for commercial fishing boats could be put small operators out of business. From October 6, new measures will be rolled in to ensure that all commercial fishing boats are fitted with both GPS equipment and cameras, to improve monitoring of catch levels and to help prevent any illegal activity. Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said the changes would protect the sustainability of New Zealand’s fisheries, and “give us arguably the most transparent and accountable commercial fishery anywhere in the world”. However, some southern fishermen fear the new rules could also bring about a range of negative consequences.  As well as the costs incurred from buying and maintaining the new equipment, it could also inadvertently reveal many fishermen’s jealously guarded marks (fishing spots). click here to read the story 15:59