Oral Presentation Australian Society for Fish Biology Conference 2017

The role of electronic monitoring in improving the quality of fishery dependent logbook data. (#14)

Rocio Noriega 1 , James Larcombe 1 , Timothy Emery 1
  1. Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, ABARES, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Fisheries electronic monitoring (EM) is a combination of hardware (including cameras, gear sensors and GPS) and software that collects and transmits fisheries information in an automated manner that is closed to external or manual input or data manipulation. Complete EM systems comprise both the on-board hardware for data collection as well as the onshore processes for data interpretation and use. In recent years, EM systems have been introduced in selected Australian Government managed fisheries with a key objective of facilitating fleet wide improvements in the quality and coverage of the data and information that is reported by fishing vessels through their logbooks.  This compliance role is achieved through a feedback cycle where EM data are compared with the equivalent logbook data, then performance feedback is provided to individual fishers on the accuracy of their logbooks. We examine the effect of the introduction of EM on the accuracy of logbook reporting in two fisheries: the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF) and the Gillnet Hook and Trap (GHAT) sector.  Direct comparisons are made between the levels of catch reported through EM and through logbooks, coupled with an analysis of logbook catch reporting rates pre- and post-implementation of EM across the categories of target, byproduct, bycatch and protected species. Comparisons are made between the outcomes achieved in the two fisheries giving some important insights and lessons on the effectiveness of EM and its role in the improvement of fishery dependant data.