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.

Washington State Dungeness Crab EM Lime Pilot Project

This pilot project will test a newly developed, low-cost EM system developed by archipelago called LIME in combination with a tablet-based electronic logbook (E-Log) to determine its effectiveness as a tool to improve data quality and the timeliness of in-season management decisions, specifically related to the spatial distribution of crab gear to mitigate marine mammal interactions. The first phase of this project will serve as a proof-of-concept trial to validate whether this EM system can successfully collect EM data on-board two crab fishing vessels based out of Westport, WA, and to develop the data flow and reporting protocols that will meet WDFW (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) management needs.

Groundfish Trawl Electronic Monitoring Programs

Archipelago provides electronic monitoring equipment (EM) and services to groundfish trawl vessels in the Pacific region based on the management and monitoring requirements of the fishery. EM services consist of providing equipment and technical support, managing and processing EM data and sharing results with industry and DFO stakeholders. Program services involve collecting and processing electronic at-sea EM data, profiling fishing effort and catch and categorizing at sea releases. EM data are integrated with dockside monitoring and fisher log data to detail catch for quota management. EM data and reports are prepared by Archipelago and the results are shared with DFO and industry stakeholders.
Throughout the program history, Archipelago has met regularly with industry and DFO representatives to discuss the program, identify challenges or areas of opportunity for improved data collection, and ensure the program is meeting its objectives. Program summaries were prepared by Archipelago and provided to fishery advisory committee meetings to facilitate program implementation, development and review. The groundfish trawl EM program continues to evolve with changes in the fishery and management requirements.

US Alaska Pollock Trawl EM Program

The Alaska Pollock Trawl EM program operates under an exempted fishery permit (EFP) allowing the use of EM as a substitute for human at-sea observers on 30 midwater trawl vessels fishing in the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska pollock fisheries. This EM program is split between federally funded (via grants) and industry funded (directly from participants). This project is intended to evaluate the feasibility and cost-efficiency of using EM systems to monitor compliance with retention (salmon bycatch) and discard (groundfish) regulations, while improving data quality and timeliness in these fisheries. Archipelago provides equipment and field support services to the fishing industry. EM services to industry comprise providing equipment, installation, technical support and implementing changes and improvements geared towards increasing data quality. EM data is processed by Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC).

US West Coast Groundfish EFP EM Program

The West Coast Groundfish EM program operates under an exempted fishery permit (EFP) to use EM for three fleets: Pacific whiting, longline/trap (fixed gear), and trawl vessels. This project started in 2013 and is ongoing in the West Coast (California, Oregon, Washington) region. This EM program is coordinated by fishing industry association to meet Federal requirements with EM data being processed by Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC). The program allows participating vessels to use EM for at-sea catch monitoring instead of At-Sea Observers, greatly reducing their monitoring costs. There are over 40 vessels in the program. Archipelago provides equipment and field support services  covering equipment, installation, and technical support.

California Box Crab EM Pilot Project

Run through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, this project operates under an exempted fishing permit (EFP) allowing the use of EM as a substitute for at-sea observers on five crab fishing vessels in California. The project uses EM to evaluate the commercial viability of an experimental box crab fishery. Archipelago provides equipment and field support services to the five vessels in this program.

Alaska Fixed Gear

Project Overview:

US Alaska Cooperative Research (Fixed Gear) EM Program started in 2014 and is currently still ongoing. It is primarily directed at ground fish hook and line (and trap) vessels targeting halibut, sablefish, and Pacific cod. The existing EM pool consists of over 140 vessels that carry EM for all fishing operations.
This is a federally funded cooperative research program, which is phasing into mandatory regulated program funded by industry through landing levies and contracted by the agency. The program allows participating vessels to use EM for at-sea catch and discard monitoring as well as mitigation device deployment instead of At-Sea Observers. Archipelago provides equipment and field support services to the fishing industry. EM services to industry comprise providing equipment, installation, and technical support.

Stewardship Centre For BC Green Shores Partnership


Overview of project:
Since 2005 Archipelago has partnered with the Stewardship Centre for BC in the development and implementation of Green Shores (, a credit and rating program for sustainable coastal design and development. The Green Shores program provides resources and tools for coastal land-owners and managers to minimize development impacts and restore coastal ecosystem function to coastal sites, by promoting the incorporation of valued ecosystem services. Green Shores is based on four Guiding Principles:
1. Preserve the integrity or connectivity of coastal processes.
2. Maintain or enhance habitat diversity and function (on a local or regional scale).
3. Minimize or reduce pollutants to the marine environment.
4. Reduce cumulative impacts to the coastal environment.
Archipelago’s key role in this program has been leading and coordinating the Technical Working Group which developed the Green Shores for Coastal Development rating system for larger coastal developments and Parks as well as Green Shores for Homes, a credit and rating system for single waterfront properties currently being implemented in British Columbia and Washington State. In addition, Archipelago staff provide training in these two rating systems through the University of British Columbia Continuing Studies program.

Prince Rupert Marine Habitat Restoration Plan

Overview of project:

In recent years, many development projects have been proposed for the Port of Prince Rupert. These projects generally require restoration initiatives in order to offset projected impacts to nearshore fish habitat. Habitat restoration is also a key priority of environmental stewardship initiatives by the port, First Nations and NGO’s. The need to provide a planning and evaluation framework for restoration projects in the region was identified with the objectives of coordinating projects that are supported by underlying ecological principles. The Prince Rupert Habitat Restoration Plan (MHRP) was developed by Archipelago as a comprehensive, ecologically based approach to restoration of marine habitats in the Prince Rupert area that can be used by all stakeholders.

Environmental Assessment for an Offshore Wind Energy Project

Located off the coast of British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii islands in Hecate Strait, the site of the proposed NaiKun wind energy project is said to offer some of the strongest and most consistent winds anywhere in the world—ideal conditions for a renewable energy initiative of this type. This region is also highly valued by residents and visitors alike for its natural beauty and unspoiled wilderness. For this project to proceed, NaiKun would first need to complete a thorough environmental assessment in accordance with provincial and federal regulatory requirements. Archipelago undertook the marine
ecology component of this assessment, working closely with a multidisciplinary team of industry experts from Hemmera and Pottinger Gaherty Environmental Consultants. The fact that this project involved multiple geographic locations presented a unique challenge for the assessment team; the plan called for wind turbines to be located at a remote site on Dogfish Banks, with subsea marine cables extending across Hecate Strait to the mainland near Prince Rupert and the islands of Haida Gwaii. Additionally, the significance of the entire Dogfish Banks region to local Dungeness crab fisheries raised concerns about potential interactions with fisheries and possible impacts to the resource itself. The team needed to fully explore this issue and address these concerns within its environmental assessment.