NOAA Fisheries and the Southeast region encourage all fishery stakeholders, including ourselves, to consider implementing electronic technology (ET) options to meet science, management, and compliance data needs. ETs include the use of vessel monitoring systems (VMS), electronic reporting (ER), video cameras, gear sensors, and automated image processing for electronic monitoring (EM), data collection technologies for human observers, and other technologies that can improve the timeliness, quality, integration, cost effectiveness, and accessibility of fishery-dependent data.
Tight budgets and the increasing demands for data are driving the need to evaluate and improve existing fisheries data collection programs. Electronic technologies have potential to be a more cost-effective and efficient manner to collect the data necessary to properly manage Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic fisheries. The demands for more precise, timelier, and more comprehensive fishery-dependent data continue to rise every year. The implementation of fisheries regulations that require near real-time monitoring of catch by species at the vessel level have challenged the methods and budgetary limits of data collection methods such as self-reporting, at-sea observers and monitors, and dockside monitoring.
It is the policy of NOAA Fisheries to encourage the consideration of ET to complement and/or improve existing fishery-dependent data collection programs to achieve the most cost-effective and sustainable approach that ensures alignment of management goals, data needs, funding sources and regulations.
The Southeast For-Hire Integrated Electronic Reporting Program implements electronic reporting of for-hire vessel catch data for over 3000 vessels in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic. The purpose of this program is to provide more accurate and reliable fisheries information about for-hire catch, effort, and discards. Fishermen will directly improve data collection that is critical to population assessments and better fisheries management.
Southeast Electronic For-Hire Reporting Program
Homeported in Pascagoula, Mississippi, NOAA Ship Pisces is the third in a class of state-of-the-art, acoustically quiet fisheries survey vessels built for a wide range of living marine resource surveys and ecosystem research projects. The ship focuses primarily on U.S. waters from the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and South Atlantic to North Carolina. Credit: NOAA