Electronic fish data monitoring considered

Published: Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 16:47 PM.

Fisheries in some states, including Alaska, are already using the devices; but expanding their use is complicated. It’s currently unclear who would fund the costly installation process, and some aspects of the electronic monitoring process are impractical for larger fleets. For example, removing the hard drive from a monitoring system on one fishing boat is a realistic daily task — not so much for 750 vessels.

Stakeholders, including fishery officials, are currently compiling regional plans that weigh the feasibility, and pros and cons, of switching to the electronic system. Those reports, due next December, will explain in detail why the system would, or wouldn’t, work in a particular fishery. There’s currently no timeline for widespread implementation, though Lapointe said it could happen in the near future.

“Overall, there’s a strong interest in adopting new technologies,” he said. “We have the technology to do it now. I’m certain of it. But there are still questions.”

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