The shift to sector management introduced increased monitoring and reporting requirements for New England's groundfish industry. One major component of these new requirements calls for additional at-sea monitoring above the current levels of onboard monitoring in the fishery.
To date, the high costs of these onboard observers has been fully funded by NOAA Fisheries; however, that funding is slated to end soon. For many sector fishermen, shouldering the costs of at-sea monitoring could mean financial ruin for their already strained fishing businesses. In an attempt to reduce these costs, we are working with managers and fishermen to develop strategies towards a more cost-effective and equitable monitoring system.