Protected Species Bycatch Monitoring in the Bay of Biscay

This pilot project is a joint effort by Archipelago, Marine Instruments and Marine Instruments local dealer in France, ISIFISH. Following reports of dolphin bycatch in gillnet fisheries in the Bay of Biscay, the French government commissioned a demonstration EM project to assess the data collection capabilities on these small vessels. A new MarineObserve EM system manufactured by Marine Instruments capable of transmitting live video and sensor data over 4G from the vessel was installed on four gillnet vessels, with the associated cameras and sensors. No changes were required to either fishing activities or catch handling and the privacy of the fishermen involved was maintained in the video collected using advanced techniques. All data analysis is done locally in France by the project holder, SINAY, using Archipelago’s EM Interpret TM (EMI) analysis software and training. The initial project will run for 5 months and based on successful data collection to meet monitoring goals there is the expectation of a one-year extension.