Catch Weighing and Monitoring in Alaska
As fishery management programs have been developed in Alaska, NOAA Fisheries has established several fishery-specific monitoring programs. When deciding which monitoring tools are appropriate, NOAA fisheries must balance considerations of cost, enforceability, timeliness of data available for management, and other agency resources required. Catch share programs that implement allocations of exclusive harvest privilege and create transferable bycatch limits present particular challenges for accurate accounting. These programs require a more intensive suite of monitoring tools for management and include at-sea scales to weigh catch and catch monitoring plans developed by processors to describe how fish will be sort and weighed.
Inspection Requests for Observer Sampling Stations, Video Monitoring, Bin Monitoring and At-Sea Scales
NOAA Fisheries will perform video monitoring, bin monitoring, at-sea scale, and observer sampling station inspections in Dutch Harbor, Kodiak or the Puget Sound area. We need to receive a request for an inspection at least 10 working days in advance of the requested inspection.
- Inspection Requests
- Scale Inspection Appointment Schedule
The use of at-sea scales helps provide precise and accurate groundfish catch estimates. At-sea scales are now used to account for the vast majority of catch by catcher-processors and motherships fishing off Alaska. We conduct annual scale inspections and certification of all at-sea scales to ensure accurate accountability of groundfish landings.
Before a scale can be used to officially weigh catch at-sea it has to be inspected by a NOAA Fisheries-authorized inspector. The inspector will check to make sure the scale is properly installed, all components of the scale are functioning (printer, display, software) and it can pass a performance test. The performance test consists of weighing a known quantity of test material (sand in bags) and making sure the scale being tested weighs the material accurately. In order to perform this test on a flow scale or hopper scale, the inspector we will be passing the test material across the scale in the same manner fish/crab would pass across the scale. Therefore, infeed belts must be operational before the test can be done.
- Scales Approved for Use At-Sea
- Record of Daily Flow Scale Tests (PDF)
- Record of Daily Automatic Hopper Scale Tests (PDF)
Pacific Cod Freezer Longline Monitoring
NOAA Fisheries modified equipment and operational requirements in 2012 for freezer longliners named on Licence Limitation Plans (LLPs) endorsed to catch and process Pacific cod at sea with hook-and-line gear in the BSAI. Vessel owners are required to select between two monitoring options: 1) carry two observers or 2) carry one observer and use a motion-compensated scale to weigh Pacific cod before it is processed. Selection must occur by November 1st for the upcoming year. The selected monitoring option is required to be used when the vessel is operating in either the BSAI or GOA groundfish fisheries when directed fishing for Pacific cod is open in the BSAI, or while the vessel is fishing for groundfish under the CDQ Program. A vessel owner who notifies NOAA Fisheries that the vessel will not be used to conduct directed fishing for Pacific cod in the BSAI or to conduct groundfish CDQ fishing during the year will not be required to follow the new monitoring requirements and will follow the current observer and reporting requirements.
Crab Monitoring Plans
A Register Crab Receiver (RCR) must submit a Crab Monitoring Plan (CMP) for approval by NOAA Fisheries. The CMP must be approved before receiving any Crab Rationalization crab deliveries. An inspection of the processing facility must be requested 10 working days before the requested inspection date. CMPs will be approved for one year. An owner or manager must notify NOAA Fisheries in writing if changes are made in plant operations or layout. Regulations regarding the CMP performance standards can be found at 50 CFR 680.23(g).
Catch Monitoring and Control Plans
Owners and managers of shoreside or stationary floating processors receiving fish in the AFA and CDQ pollock, Aleutian Island directed pollock or the Rockfish Program, with some exceptions, are required to prepare, submit, and have an approved Catch Monitoring Control Plan (CMCP) prior to the receipt of fish harvested in these fisheries. A CMCP has to be submitted to NOAA Fisheries for approval prior to receiving any BSAI Pollock deliveries. An inspection of the processing facility needs to be requested 10 working days before the requested inspection date. CMCPs will be approved for one year. Regulations regarding the CMCP performance standards can be found in 50 CFR 679.28(g).
- Monitoring and Reporting in Alaska
- North Pacific Observer Program
- Vessel Monitoring
- Vessel Monitoring Systems in Alaska - Federal Register Rules and Notices
- Federal Fisheries in Alaska
At-Sea Scales and and Compliance Video Monitoring
Catch Monitoring and Control Plans
Observer Sampling Stations