North Pacific Fisheries Association

Electronic Monitoring:

Electronic monitoring (EM) is rapidly developing technology designed to assist human observers in fisheries observation and compliance. NPFA is working to develop a program that fits the needs of the National Marine Fisheries Service and the goals of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council. Keep checking in for progress updates!


2012 - 2013 NPFA was awarded a NFWF grant to develop electronic monitoring systems on small, under 60 ft., halibut boats.


2013 - 2015 NFWF grant funded pilot to develop electronic monitoring system for small, under 60 ft., fixed gear cod boats.


2015 - Progress made in ongoing electronic monitoring study currently taking place in Kodiak on fixed gear pot cod boats, development of technique to obtain measurement, piece counts, species identification and measurement of fishing effort.


2016 -  NPFA pursues funding for the Pre-Implementation phase of Electronic Monitoring in the pot cod fishery.


Interested in joining in the effort? Would you like EM equipment on your fishing vessel? Have a few more questions before you're ready to register?


Contact NPFA! : npfahomer@gmail.com


EM FAQ's for inquiring vessel owners:


  • How many vessels may opt-in to the EM Pre-Implementation Program for Pot Cod Vessels?
    • Up to 30 vessels will be accepted into the Pre-Implementation Program. Vessels accepted into the EM pool will not be required to carry a human observer. First priority will be given to vessels that have liferaft or bunk space limitations with carrying a human observer. All vessels are encouraged to register with Abby Turner- Franke at npfahomer@gmail.com.  
  • What kind of EM Hardware will be installed on my vessel?
    • Equipment supplied by an EM contractor. The EM system consists of a control center to manage the data collection, connected to a GPS receiver, and a hydraulic pressure transducer.  The system also includes deck cameras (generally 2) which focus on the sorting table to document catch composition.
  • How much does it cost to be in the EM Pool?
    • For 2016 and 2017, NPFA has worked with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to secure funding to equip interested vessels with EM systems. The installation takes about 1 day and will be completed by trained EM technicians.  Vessel operators must assist the EM technician with wire routing and installation of the hydraulic and engine sensors (as appropriate).
  • What are skippers responsible for?
    • Ensure their vessel gets pre-wired for EM in the fall of 2016 or spring of 2017 before fishing begins and trips are logged into ODDS.
    • Complete a brief system function check before departing on each trip selected for coverage and contact technical support if needed.
    • When at-sea on selected trips, the vessel operator is responsible to:
      • Wipe the camera lenses as needed to ensure good quality video.
      • Ensure all discards occur in specific areas where the camera has an unobstructed view.
      • Keep a simple logbook/sheet documenting fishing effort (#Pots Hauled, start and end time fishing, delivery, etc). This log should be nothing new to fishermen.
      • Upon return to port, the vessel operator must report any problems with the EM system and mail in their hard drive.
  • Will the cameras be rolling 24-hours a day?
    • NO. Unless you are fishing for 24 hours straight. The cameras are activated by hydraulic pressure and record images only, not sound.
  • What if something breaks?
    • The EM contractor will provide a toll free number to report problems. Most problems can be resolved over the phone. If not, the issue will be addressed once you return to port.
  • Who is watching this video?
    • The main purpose of the program is catch accounting. Video data is reviewed by a professional contractor for species identification and piece counts, # of discards, etc. Enforcement may request video for review, but will not routinely review the footage.






2016- Already invested in the longevity of fisheries across the state and the communities that depend on them and having provided a voice for fishermen seeking responsible management for maximum sustainable yield for many years, NPFA begins specific involvement in management of sustainable ecosystem based management of seafood resources across the state of Alaska.


The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council released a status update on Ecosytem Based Fisheries Management (EBFM).



Things to watch for on the agenda at upcoming NPFMC meetings:

Bering Sea FEP  , Council Discussion Paper

LENFEST REPORT


Electronic Monitoring/Observer Program

Gulf of Alaska


Terms you need to know:


EBFM- Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management

EBM- Ecosystem Based Management

EFH- Essential Fish Habitat

FEP- Fisheries Ecosystem Plan

FMP- Fisheries Management Plan

Ecosystem Based Fishery Management: