24 Oct 2013

Tuna commission looks to electronic monitoring of fishing vessels

4:34 pm on 24 October 2013

Electronic monitoring of longline fishing boats is being considered as an alternative to on-board observers.

The executive director of the Tuna Commission says the observer programme has been an effective way to ensure boats follow the regulations on the use of fish aggregation devices, but many boats don't have them.

In August, the United States fined boats with evidence provided by observers.

But Professor Glenn Hurry says there are almost 3,000 longline vessels operating with a two percent observer coverage.

"Observers and the skippers on the boats can put in their log sheets and their observer reports electronically so it'll give us more real time information. But also to look at electronic monitoring so that you can actually use cameras on boats to actually record the activity on the longline vessels."

Professor Glenn Hurry says it won't be tried on purse seine vessels as the commission doesn't want to take the jobs away from Pacific island observers on those boats.