Groundfish: Trawl Catch Share Program Electronic Monitoring

Exempted Fishing Permit Application Information

An exempted fishing permit (EFP) is a federal permit, issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service, which authorizes a vessel to engage in an activity that is otherwise, prohibited by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act or other fishery regulations for the purpose of collecting limited experimental data. EFPs can be issued to federal or state agencies, marine fish commissions, or other entities, including individuals. An EFP applicant need not be the owner or operator of the vessel(s) for which the EFP is requested.

The Council’s operating procedures (COP) provides guidance in the qualification, submission, purpose and content, review, and approval of EFP proposals at:

The link below is an example from NMFS for a Pacific whiting fishery draft EFP, including a statement of work. The information in the draft EFP is similar to what is needed in an EFP application; however, it does not cover all the information required in COP 19.

The following two links are examples of the draft permits developed by NMFS in response to the example Pacific whiting fishery EFP application.

Statement from Sam Rauch, Head of NOAA Fisheries on Electronic Monitoring

On June 5, 2013, the head of NMFS, released a statement which focused on the value of electronic monitoring in meeting the need for fishery monitoring: On Electronic Monitoring: A Message from Sam Rauch, Head of NOAA Fisheries

A feature story was also released on electronic monitoring: Facial Recognition Technology and the Future of Fisheries Management

NMFS Electronic Monitoring Policy

On May 3, 2013, NMFS released its “Policy on Electronic Technologies and Fishery Dependent Data Collection”. This policy provides guidance on the adoption of electronic technology solutions in fishery-dependent data collection programs. Electronic technologies include the use of vessel monitoring systems, electronic logbooks, video cameras for electronic monitoring, and other technologies that provide EM and electronic reporting. The policy also includes guidance on the funding for electronic technology use in fishery-dependent data collection programs.

Council’s Public Scoping Process for Electronic Monitoring Program

In 2011, NMFS implemented a Council developed catch share program for the West Coast limited entry groundfish trawl fishery. The program requires that each vessel acquire quota pounds (QP) to cover its catch (including discards) of nearly all groundfish species (exceptions were made for some species rarely caught in the trawl groundfish fishery. Proper functioning of the program requires some form of at-sea monitoring to ensure that discards are enumerated for each vessel. The catch share program specified that this monitoring function be achieved through 100% at-sea observer coverage. Electronic monitoring (EM) is being explored as a potential technically and economically viable substitute for the use of human observers in the function of compliance monitoring for the catch share program.

At the November 2012 Council meeting, the Council directed that an EM workshop be held. The workshop was held February, 2013. The purpose of the workshop was to begin developing the policy context and identify necessary elements for a thorough Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) process to use EM in the West Coast groundfish trawl catch share program.

The Council decided at the April, 2013 Council meeting to move forward with consideration of the possible use of EM for the trawl catch share program. At that time, the Council decided that the primary focus of integrating EM into the trawl catch share program would be to achieve the compliance monitoring required for individual accountability of catch and bycatch, as opposed to using EM to meet needs for biological data or other scientific information monitoring. A set of regulatory objectives and calendar from the February EM workshop report were adopted. Also, at the April meeting a set of recommendations on the 2013 EM field study was approved for forwarding to Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. A similar field study was conducted in 2012. Both studies focus on comparison of video and observer data.

At the June 2013 Council meeting, the Council established two EM committees to focus on the development of options for EM use in the trawl catch share program. In August 2013 both the Groundfish Electronic Monitoring (GEM) Policy Advisory Committee (GEMPAC) and the GEM Technical Advisory Committee met to further the Council scoping process. The GEMPAC report for their August meeting provides a draft set of EM program alternatives for Council consideration and were presented at the September 2013 Council meeting. The Council provided guidance to the GEMPAC for continued development of EM program alternatives.

The GEM Committees met again in October, 2013 to discuss the guidance provided by the Council. The GEMPAC refined the draft alternatives and developed a GEMPAC report with recommendations for Council consideration at their November, 2013 meeting. The Council decided to revise the alternatives with the modifications recommended in the Enforcement Consultants report and to move forward with an impact analysis of the draft alternatives. The Council is scheduled to hear an update on the analysis in April, 2014 and in June will review the full analysis to pick preliminary preferred alternatives. The Council is scheduled to pick its final preferred alternatives for an EM program at its September 2014, meeting with the expectation of implementing an EM program by January 2016.

Materials from the Electronic Monitoring Workshop February 25-27, 2013

The following are the materials distributed from the Council workshop on electronic monitoring for vessels participating in the groundfish trawl catch share program. You can download them all as one file or individual by clicking on the links below. A workshop report will be presented to the Council at its April 2013 Meeting

Workshop Agenda Item Attachment Title
Download all attachments as one file
A.2 Attachment 1 – Terms of Reference Terms of Reference for the Pacific Council Workshop on Electronic Monitoring for Vessels Participating in the Groundfish Trawl Catch Share Program
A.2 Attachment 2 – Workshop Agenda PROPOSED AGENDA, Electronic Monitoring Workshop
B.1 Attachment 1 –Cameras for Whiting Electronic Monitoring in the Shore-Side Hake Fishery 2004 to 2010
B.2.a Attachment 1 – FMA Project National Fish and Wildlife Grants, to the Fishermen’s Marketing Association
B.2.b Attachment 1 – Fixed Gear Vessels – Morro Bay Electronic Monitoring Pilot Study Report for West Coast Groundfish Trawl ITQ Program
B.2.b Attachment 2 – Cap Log Report Introduction to Economic Model and Summary of Monitoring Concepts for the West Coast Groundfish FIQ Program
B.2.c Attachment 1 – Sea State Project Sea State, February 13, 2013, EM Workshop Presentation Description
B.2.d Attachment 1 – PSMFC Project 2013 PSMFC Project – 2012 Season Results
B.3 Attachment 1 – EM in Alaska Electronic Monitoring in Alaska – Synopsis for Agenda Item B.3
B.4 Supplemental Attachment 1 – NER Pilot Northeast Region Pilot Program (Melissa Hooper)
C.1 Attachment 1 – Strawmen P&N, G&O Electronic Monitoring – Background, Purpose and Need, Goals and Objectives
D.1.a Attachment 1 – Preliminary Feasibility Matrix – NWFSC Preliminary Thoughts on Observer Functions and the Corresponding Abilities of Electronic Monitoring (Northwest Fishery Science Center (NWFSC) Response)
D.1.b&c Attachment 1 – Preliminary Feasibility Matrix – NW OLE, NOAA GCEL, and NWR Preliminary Thoughts on Observer Functions and the Corresponding Abilities of Electronic Monitoring (Northwest Division Office of Law Enforcement(NW OLE), NOAA General Counsel Enforcement Litigation (NOAA GCEL), and Northwest Region (NWR))
D.1.c Supplemental Attachment 2 – NOAA GCEL Legal and Enforcement Considerations
D.2.a Attachment 1 – EM Strawmen Electric Monitoring Strawmen for Consideration
D.2.a Attachment 2 – Compliance Incentives Creating an Incentive Based Environment for Good Behavior Consideration of a Cooperative Agreement Program for Furthering Electronic Monitoring Compliance
E.1 Attachment 1 – PSMFC Rare Events Pacific Sates Field Study – Detection of Rare Events
E.2 Attachment 1 – PSMFC 2013 Design Pacific Sates Field Study –2013 Study Design
F Attachment 1 – Draft Calendar DRAFT Possible Regulation Amendment Process for Consideration of Electronic Monitoring
Back-Ground Background – CCC EM Agenda and NMFS Whitepapers Electronic Monitoring Annotated Agenda CCC Meeting – February 21, 2013 Silver Spring, MD [also includes whitepapers]
Back-Ground Background – Fisheries Monitoring Road Map Cover letter and Fisheries Monitoring Roadmap
Back-Ground Supplemental Background – News Article – Fishery Recovery Press Democrat: Feds see early signs of Pacific fishery recovery
Back-Ground Supplemental Background – DRAFT EA Implementing Amendment 10 A MAXIMIZED RETENTION AND MONITORING PROGRAM



PowerPoint Title Presented By
Agenda Item B.1: Electronic Monitoring in the Shore-Side Hake Fishery 2004 to 2010 Howard McElderrry
Agenda Item B.2.a: Summary of National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grants to the FMA Pete Leipzig
Agenda Item B.2.b: Electronic Monitoring Pilot Studies on Fixed Gear Vessels in Central California Michael Bell – Senior Project Director, The Nature Conservancy
Agenda Item B.2.c: Overview of NFWF Grant to Develop Video Monitoring for Full-Retention Fisheries Karl Haflinger, Sea State Inc., and Eric Torgerson, Finsight
Agenda Item B.2.d: 2012 EM Season Results Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission Dave Colpo
Agenda Item B.3: Monitoring Technology in Alaska Farron Wallace
Agenda Item B.4: Northeast Region Pilot Program Melissa Hooper
Agenda Item D.1.b: Electronic Monitoring – Management Compliance Requirements Colby Brady
Agenda Item D.1.c: Vessel Based Electronic Monitoring Feasability Evaluation: Enforcement Dayna Matthews
Agenda Items E.1 & E.2: Electronic Monitoring Workshop, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission Field Study Dave Colpo