Viability of Electronic Observers Being Evaluated

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka

A fisheries trade association is spearheading research to determine if it’s practical to monitor bycatch electronically on some longliners, rather than using human observers. The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association has been awarded $220,000 from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation to study whether cameras can do the job when new rules go into effect requiring observers on all groundfish vessels over 40 feet long. This is on top of research ALFA is involved in to find ways to keep sperm whales away from longline gear.

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