Amendment to the Alaska Region Electronic Technologies Implementation Plan
This Amendment addresses the the development of an electronic monitoring program for trawl catcher vessels.
In 2018, NMFS completed a significant milestone in the Alaska Region Electronic Technologies Implementation Plan by implementing regulations to allow electronic monitoring (EM) as an alternative monitoring option to carrying an observer for small fixed gear vessels in the partial coverage category of the North Pacific Observer Program. The data collected from this coverage is used to obtain catch and discard information from these vessels. After this achievement, in April 2018, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) shifted the focus of the EM Workgroup to developing EM for use in the trawl catcher vessel fisheries. In June 2018, the Council adopted the following preliminary monitoring objectives as recommended by the trawl EM Workgroup (now called the EM Trawl Committee) to guide the development of an EM program for trawl catcher vessels:
• improve salmon accounting;
• reduce monitoring costs; and,
• improve the quality of monitoring data.
This amendment to the Alaska Region Electronic Technologies Implementation Plan supplements the Council’s revised prioritization of EM implementation on trawl vessels. This amendment does not restrict any work that the Council’s EM Committee may undertake. As with the main document, this amendment borrows heavily from the products generated from the EM Committee and information in the Strategic Plan for Electronic Monitoring and Electronic Reporting in the North Pacific (EM/ER Strategic Plan).4 Where appropriate, we have provided cross-references to the strategic plan’s goals and objectives.