Project Title: Real-Time Electronic Bycatch Reporting Pilot Project
Client: Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
In order to better monitor Allowable Catch Limits (ACL) of sea scallops and Sub-ACLs of bycatch species allocated to the limited access fleet, a real time electronic reporting system, FLDRS, was developed by NMFS. The system was developed to allow the US scallop fleet to regularly report their tow data, bycatch, and scallop catch electronically to a database accessible by the Fisheries Survival Fund (FSF), an industry organization, as well as to NMFS, NERO and NEFSC. Furthermore, the data would available anonymously to the entire fleet in order to alert the fishermen to hot-spot areas of high yellowtail flounder to scallop meat catch ratios.
The first phase of this project continued the refinement of the FLDRS software and introduced broadband technology to allow cheaper and faster data transfer between vessels and shore. The secondary phase was the installation of the updated system on 24 scallop vessels primarily out of ports in the mid-Atlantic region. Due to issues with the FLDRS system five of these vessels were later transferred to OLRAC DDL a real-time electronic reporting system developed by CFF and Ocean Land Resource Assessment Consultants (Olrac).