As a result of looming federal funding cuts, the New England groundfish industry will soon have to pay for the mandated monitoring of their fishing activities while at sea. For many sector fishermen, shouldering these costs could prove devastating to their already strained fishing businesses. In an attempt to reduce the expense of at-sea monitoring, we are working with managers and fishermen to develop cost-effective alternatives.
Electronic monitoring offers a way to significantly reduce the costs associated with at-sea monitors without compromising data quality or integrity. It has gained regional momentum, drawn national and international attention, and has proven to be a successful alternative in areas such as British Columbia’s groundfish fishery.