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Electronic Monitoring and Electronic Reporting: Guidance & Best Practices


Demands for more precise, timelier, and more comprehensive 
fishery-dependent data continue to rise every year. Agency budget appropriations for data have been flat or declining. Constraining budgets and increasing data demands are together driving the need to evaluate our existing fishery-dependent data collection programs.

NOAA Fisheries initiated a strategic effort to consider the challenges and opportunities associated with the adoption of electronic technology tools to help improve the outcomes of our fishery-dependent data collection programs.  The goal of the effort is to achieve a more cost-effective and sustainable approach, taking advantage of the range of current and emerging technologies where applicable.

Discussion Draft Comments

NOAA Fisheries has prepared a Discussion Draft seeking your input on how Electronic Monitoring and Electronic Reporting (EM and ER) could be used to improve fishery-dependent data collection programs in federally-managed fisheries.

A Discussion Draft is a draft work in progress intended to stimulate reader thought and to extract reader’s reaction on a topic. The purpose is to mine reader’s additional ideas and contributions for completion of a final document. 

What is the intended use for this document?

The objective of the Discussion Draft is to promote discussion and thinking within regions and across regions about EM/ER. Our goal for the final document, scheduled for completion this Fall, is to help managers and stakeholders consider the questions of how EM/ER tools can help contribute to a more cost-effective and sustainable collection of fishery dependent data in our federally-managed fisheries.

Are these proposed practices mandatory?

No. The guidance in the document is not prescriptive, mandatory or regulatory in nature. As consideration of EM/ER proceeds in the eight Council regions it is hoped that additional feedback and guidance will be submitted for addition to this document over time as a “living document” to improve the knowledge base and information available to assist decision makers.

Who should read this document?

This document is for anyone interested in evaluating EM/ER tools for possible adoption; those that are interested in refining their programs and learning from other regions’ experiences; and for those who already have experience with implementing EM/ER who are willing to share their knowledge with others. There are lessons learned that can be applied across regions and fisheries and this knowledge could assist others in designing their programs and save others from wasted time, effort and expense.

How to comment on the document: 

To submit your input, advice or best practices to be shared with others, send an email to: Your comments will be posted for others to view.

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