Over the past two years, GMRI has partnered with The Nature Conservancy, Ecotrust Canada, and Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association to implement new technology that will help fishermen comply with fisheries monitoring requirements.
Maine fishermen are now starting year three of a project to implement electronic monitoring systems. These fishermen have been testing a system of cameras and computers mounted onboard fishing vessels. This suite of technology could replace the majority of human observers, who currently monitor catch data.
Electronic monitoring improves this process the same way electronic tolls have improved highway traffic. The technology provides an accurate alternative to human observers that is safer and more cost-effective.
"I think it is something that fishermen will get behind if it can give us a safer alternative to taking human observers on our boats,” said Troy Bichrest, a project participant who fishes out of Cundy’s Harbor.
Early results show the new equipment is returning accurate and reliable catch data. With these positive results, the team plans to move past the testing phase to support implementation of an electronic monitoring program in 2016.