Grants totaling $4.1 million have been awarded for fisheries electronic monitoring and reporting projects in 14 states, including Alaska, California, Oregon and Washington state, plus Puerto Rico. The grants, which will generate $4.8 million in matching funds, were awarded through the Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program, a partnership of NFWF, NOAA, the Walton Family Foundation and the Kingfisher Foundation.
Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association received $185,104 to develop improved image quality and cost effectiveness in Alaska’s fixed gear electronic monitoring program. ALFA contributed $213,500, for a total of $398,604 for the project.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife received $85,000 to test electronic monitoring in the Columbia River gillnet and alternative gear fisheries. The state agency matched the grant with another $85,00 for a total of $170,000.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife also received $95,294 for a lite electronic monitoring proof-of-concept for the Washington Dungeness crab fishery. The state agency added $103,114 in matching funds, giving that project a total of $198,408.
United Catcher Boats received a grant of $908,882 for scaling up compliance based electronic monitoring in the Alaska Pollock pelagic trawl fishery and evaluating the feasibility and cost efficiency of using electronic monitoring systems on Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska pelagic trawl vessels to monitor compliance with retention regulations. UBC added $1,395,854 in matching funds for a project total of $2,294,716.
The Midwater Trawlers Cooperative received $256,175 to improve electronic monitoring catch handling requirements to be more efficient while still supporting catch accountability and to expand date use for science in the West Coast groundfish fisheries of California, Oregon and Washington state. The trawlers’ cooperative added $350,000 in matching funds for a project total
The program was established in 2015 to advance NOAA’s sustainable fisheries goals to partner with fishermen and other stakeholders, state agencies and Fishery Information Networks to integrate technology into fisheries data collect and observations. To date the program has awarded over $21.5 million to 71 projects in U.S. fisheries and generated a conservation impact of $49.1 million.