AUSTRALIA - From 1 July 2015 electronic monitoring (e-monitoring) will be mandatory for all boats in the Eastern and Western Tuna and Billfish (ETBF and WTBF) fisheries and the Gillnet Hook and Trap (GHAT) sector of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF).
Any full time boats that don’t have an operational e-monitoring system after this time will not be allowed to fish unless they have an on-board observer.
The requirement for e-monitoring is legislated through the Directions for the ETBF, WTBF and SESSF.
E-monitoring is a targeted approach to collecting information on fishing activity, which integrates video, sensors and programmable loggers into a powerful data collection tool.
This data will be used to verify fishers’ log books. Having e-monitoring systems on boats will minimise the need for on-board observers, resulting in cost savings for industry.
AFMA has been rolling out e-monitoring in the GHAT Fishery since late 2014 and in the ETBF and WTBF fisheries over the past few months.
The GHAT Fishery has 30 boats operating with e-monitoring equipment on board and 25 boats in the ETBF now have units up and running. AFMA intends to install e-monitoring systems on a total of 75 boats in the ETBF, WTBF and GHAT fisheries.
AFMA is funding the installation of equipment on boats until 30 June, 2015. After this time, the cost of installing the equipment will be met by industry.
AFMA would like to thank fishers, who have had systems installed, for their assistance with the roll-out of e-monitoring.
E-monitoring has proven to be a valuable tool in fisheries overseas in helping to verify logbook data, keeping costs down for fishers by replacing the need for human observers and increasing the individual accountability of fishers.
AFMA expects to see these benefits in the domestic fisheries, enabling AFMA and industry to undertake the most effective and efficient management of Commonwealth fisheries to ensure their sustainability.
Archipelago Asia Pacific (AAP), a subsidiary of Archipelago Marine Research, has been contracted in the design and installation of EM and to undertake analysis of the collected footage.
TheFishSite News Desk