Fisheries management is plagued by lack of verifiable data for compliance and stock assessments. Low vessel observer coverage, and delays in data transfer, transcription, integration, and analysis are the norm. These problems hinder timely analysis and updates of fishing regulations relevant to existing stocks. Fishing capacity is increasing around the world; incidental catches of protected species, bycatch discard, and IUU are critical issues. Technological advances and cost reduction bring much opportunity applicable to the fishing industry. The authors developed an integrated EMR solution and several technologies will be discussed.
Paper logbooks are limited to alphanumerical content and suffer from accuracy concerns. Electronic reporting (ER) replaces paper logbooks and allows for enhanced data entry and timely delivery. Electronic monitoring (EM) entails a suite of cameras, sensors, and with GPS collect data on fishing activity. Integration of ER and EM with common security measures eliminates stove-pipe data sources. Complete EMR data could be automatically uploaded in port, and new broadband satellite constellations may allow for real-time data upload in the future. EMR provides a critical compliment to observer programs and allows data collection from vessels too small to carry observers. Integration of these technologies will enable Near-Real-Time (NRT) fishing management of tomorrow.