This project will develop and trial a small, cost effective and portable electronic monitoring system for inshore fishing vessels, to allow more accurate monitoring of bycatch of sensitive species.
There is a legal and moral obligation to monitor fisheries for bycatch of sensitive species. Throughout European waters on-board observer programmes are currently used, but these are expensive and result in low levels of sampling (<5%). This can adversely affect the precision of calculated annual fleet level bycatch rates and impact on population estimates and management decisions. To generate robust bycatch estimates, monitoring must be achieved through higher levels of representative sampling of the fleets to minimise bias and improve precision. The system to be developed in this proposal provides a cost-effective and unbiased way of greatly expanding fleet coverage to more effectively monitor sensitive species bycatch and improve population estimates.
Recent developments in remote electronic monitoring (REM) offers an opportunity to develop a system specifically designed for this class of vessel. This project will develop and trial a small, cost effective and portable electronic monitoring system incorporating CCTV and effort sensors, that can be moved between vessels without specialist technical skills. In addition, it will incorporate a self-reporting and verification process (using RFID technology) to enable fishers to demonstrate to the public and the wider supply chain that their fishery is operating responsibly and with improved traceability which could increase value at first and subsequent sales.
The data collected by this project will improve our understanding of the patterns of inshore fishing effort and supplement data being used in the assessment of protected species bycatch, both of which are of fundamental importance to effective sustainable fisheries management.
Seascope Fisheries Research Limited