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Electronic Monitoring 

Finding ways to get cost effective monitoring on the water and fishermen's data to scientists

In 2013, MCFA along with The Nature Conservancy, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and Ecotrust Canada embarked on a three-year pilot project to further the development of electronic monitoring (EM) in the New England groundfish fishery. The overarching goal of the project was to determine if EM technology could be used to collect information on catch and discards that is comparable to existing monitoring and reporting programs in a cost-effective manner.

Project partners recognize that high levels of accountability provided through an effective catch and discard monitoring system are critical to the success of the New England groundfish sector management system. However, we also realize that many fishermen cannot afford the current monitoring costs given the significant reductions in their annual revenues caused by low catch limits on several species. A key driver for this project was our strong interest in achieving higher levels of accountability through a robust monitoring program while also minimizing fishermen’s costs.

Building on the success of this project, in 2016, NMFS’ approved an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) that authorizes fishermen in groundfish sectors from Maine, Mass, NH, and RI to utilize EM systems in lieu of human monitors.

Year Three Report

Want to learn more about the pilot project?


Check out the three year report produced by The Nature Conservancy and the project partners!

A Trip on the Ella Christine

Randy Cushman of Port Clyde shares a video from his boat the Ella Christine. With EM the reviewers can gather all the data they need, without setting foot on the deck of the boat. 

Electronic Monitoring In Action

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