Case studies: fisheries monitoring technology and services

Building on nearly 40 years in the commercial fishing industry, Archipelago has led the development of CCTV-based fisheries monitoring technology for more than a decade. Monitoring applications range from small–scale pilot projects to fleet–wide fully documented fisheries programs. The following case studies illustrate just a few of these applications.

Argos-previewMonitoring Seabird Conservation in the South Georgia Patagonian Toothfish Fishery (Argos Froyanes)

For fisheries operating near the South Georgia Island wildlife sanctuary, seabird protection is a top priority. Tori lines and streamers help keep birds safe, while observers and monitoring systems verify results. Since 2014, Archipelago has been working alongside Argos Froyanes to record and review gear–setting procedures, and ensure the region’s strict seabird conservation regulations are being met…

Catch monitoring trawlCatch monitoring (US Pacific whiting trawl fishery)

The US West Coast mid-water trawl fishery for Pacific whiting has adopted electronic monitoring to help manage quotas, reduce discards, and control costs. Introduced as an automated alternative to onboard observers more than a decade ago, this monitoring initiative is helping to ensure the long-term livelihood of local fishermen while setting a global benchmark for responsible fishing practices…

AFMA tunaElectronic monitoring in Australia’s tuna and billfish fisheries (AFMA)

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority regulates the nation’s pelagic longliners, and together with Archipelago Asia Pacific, has introduce a world-leading electronic monitoring system to keep watch on what these vessels catch and where they go. It’s all part of the management to protect both target and bycatch species in Australian waters….

CCTV cameraCatch monitoring: sablefish/halibut, hook and line (Alaska Longline Fisherman’s Association)

A group of Sitka and Homer longliners hope to demonstrate that electronic monitoring can collect most of the data needed for managing the hook and line fisheries. The pilot project is part of an ongoing effort by the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association and other longline groups to integrate electronic monitoring as an alternative to having observers aboard boats that longline for sablefish and halibut…

Catch mISSF CCTV installonitoring: tuna, purse seine (PEVASA, ISSF)

In 2011, Spanish purse seiner Playa de Bakio became the world’s first tropical tuna vessel to test the latest in electronic monitoring technology. Equipped with both a CCTV-based monitoring system and onboard observers, the test vessel enabled researchers to compare the advantages and challenges of each…

CCTV for quota managementCatch quotas/discards: cod, trawlers/gillnetters (UK Marine Management Organization)

A Catch Quota Project in England is tracking “total catch” at sea to help support responsible resource management within commercial fisheries. Rather than just counting the fish that make it to the dock, the Catch Quota Project equips each vessel with an electronic monitoring system to accurately account for all catch—including fish discarded at sea—and help fishermen verify quotas, eliminate waste, and encourage selective fishing practices…

Installing a monitoring systemCatch monitoring/quota management: groundfish, hook and line (GHLCMP)

To help ensure the long-term sustainability of British Columbia’s groundfish fishery, Fisheries and Oceans Canada worked with Archipelago to introduce an at-sea monitoring program that would accurately assess at-sea fishing activity across the entire fishery. With this equipment in place, participating vessels could automatically contribute valuable species-specific catch data that would help improve the accuracy of fisheries resource assessments within each sector…

seabird bycatch mitigationSeabird bycatch mitigation: halibut, longline (International Pacific Halibut Commission)

During the summer of 2002, Archipelago worked with the International Pacific Halibut Commission to pilot test the option of using CCTV monitoring to help mitigate seabird bycatch within the Alaska longline halibut fishery. EM systems were installed on two vessels to assess the feasibility of monitoring compliance with regulated use of bird avoidance devices, and detecting and identifying incidentally caught seabirds during longline fishing…

catch monitoring salmonCatch monitoring/quota management: salmon, troll (BC Gulf Trollers Association)

In 2002, a small-scale demonstration fishery set out to explore individual quota allocation as an alternative management approach in the salmon troll fishery. Archipelago was contracted by the Area H Gulf Troller’s Association to provide a comprehensive monitoring program, collecting information needed to evaluate the potential of this alternative fishery management method…

seabird third wireSeabird/third-wire interactions (US groundfish trawl fishery)

Fishing vessels using trawl gear typically use a trawl sonar, hard-wired to the ship through a cable known as the sonar cable or “third wire.” Seabirds attracted to offal and discards from the ship may strike the cable in flight, or get tangled in it while on the water. In 2002, Archipelago was contracted by the National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Fisheries Science Center to test EM equipment as a means to monitor seabird interactions with the third-wire…

crab trap and effort monitoringTrap and effort monitoring (BC Area A crab fishery)

In 2000, a program was developed to monitor vessel trap limits and to help control catch and gear theft at Area ‘A,’  a crab fishery of approximately 50 vessels fishing for dungeness crab in northern British Columbia. Archipelago worked with the Area ‘A’ Crab Association to develop a monitoring program that was both affordable and effective…

Compliance monitoring sablefishCompliance monitoring (BC sablefish seamount fishery)

Sablefish populations on seamounts located within between 100-200 miles offshore are generally thought to be separate from the inshore populations found along the continental slope. In 2001, Archipelago updated an earlier monitoring infrastructure using onboard electronic monitoring  technology. The new equipment allowed for rapid data processing and improved access to specific fishing activity imagery…

Bycatch monitoring salmon seineBycatch monitoring: salmon, seine (BC salmon fisheries)

BC salmon fisheries were the first to participate in the Canadian Department of Fisheries Selective Fisheries Program; an industry-led initiative to reduce bycatch and promote selective fishing. In 2001, this initiative funded a pilot study to examine electronic monitoring as a means to monitor catch-handling procedures aboard salmon seine vessels…