Scientists at Mote Marine Laboratory recently received a grant for more than $500,000 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to continue work on electronic monitoring of fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. NOAA often requires commercial fishing vessels to self-report their catches using logbooks and sometimes a trained observer, a system which doesn't always provide consistent or detailed data and can be financially unsustainable. Electronic monitoring, such as using video cameras that film the fish caught, will enhance data documentation.
A pilot study in 2011 showed that electronic monitoring could be successfully applied aboard bottom longline and bandit (vertical line) vessels fishing for snapper and grouper. Additional initiatives with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Foundation (SFPF), the Environmental Defense Fund, and NOAA/NMFS have supported implementation of this new technology in the Gulf of Mexico.