Economic Analysis of Max Retention Electronic Monitoring

Evaluating costs and benefits.

In August 2018, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), with its partners, launched a Maximized Retention Electronic Monitoring (MREM) program to support a complete monitoring program of kept and discarded fish on vessels operating in the Northeast Multispecies Fishery. The purpose of the program is to improve fleets' economic performance while also improving management capabilities by aligning incentives with management goals. A thorough evaluation of the current and future cost of the MREM program to industry and management stakeholders is crucial to inform decision-making.

Report goals:

  • Accurately estimate the costs of operating under the MREM system.
  • Identify opportunities and barriers to selling and marketing sub-legal sized fish harvested under MREM.
  • Examine possible changes in costs and benefits when more vessels operate under MREM
Two circular cameras with white bases and round lenses are mounted on a ship's beam that crosses the image frame diagonally from the bottom left of the image to the top right.

Economic Report: Maximized Retention Electronic Monitoring in the Northeast Multispecies Groundfish Fishery

Our report focuses on the successes, failures, and key hurdles of the proposed program and detail the ability of the MREM program to meet proposed data collection and accountability objectives. The economic report estimates the cost and benefit of expanding the scope of the MREM program, using a comprehensive data set from the first three years of the MREM program.

A camera with a round lens and a white circular base sits mounted on the wall of a ship.
A black camera with a large, round, circular lens surrounded by LED lights

To evaluate program costs in the current implementation of the MREM program, we will assemble information regarding the investment, operational, and maintenance costs of the EM systems born by each vessel and calculate the cost per vessel from this information. Fixed cost elements that are shared by all the vessels will be cross-checked against each other as well as against cost information retained by the program’s administrator, GMRI.

Program administration costs, as well as video review costs will also be included in the analysis. Additionally, we will collect sales and landings information from all MREM vessels throughout the course of their participation in the program. Because the MREM program requires vessels to land sub-legal sized groundfish, there is a potential to earn additional income from those catches, if they can be successfully sold. Based on the landings and sales information, we will estimate additional income gains from the sales of sub-legal landings to examine the potential economic benefits of the Maximized Retention protocol over other EM programs.

Project Team

Project Sponsor

This project is generously supported with funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

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