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Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS); Pelagic Longline Vessels Electronic Monitoring (EM) Systems – Reminders

Posted August 3, 2017

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) thanks you for your continuing compliance with the EM regulations.  As a whole the pelagic longline fishery has been diligent in its attention to the EM procedures.  This document provides reminder instructions to Atlantic HMS pelagic longline owners / operators of the following EM system requirements for each pelagic longline trip:

During Trip Preparation

System check: Prior to Leaving the Dock, you must perform a system check before you leave port on each trip and once daily while fishing.  With the EM system on, look at the screen (monitor) and click on “System Check” For more information, please consult the information at:

During the Trip:

Clean Camera:  Clean the lenses of the cameras. You are required to maintain the working condition of your EM cameras.  Please check/verify whether the lens of the camera has accumulated salt, etc. that would compromise the quality of the video footage, and if that is the case clean the lens by wiping it with a clean, wet, soft cloth.  If the image on the monitor appears blurry, and is not corrected by cleaning the lens, please call Saltwater, Inc., as the problem may be caused by a damaged camera housing or a flooded lens. 

System power:  You must keep the EM system powered on during the full duration of the trip, and not turn the system off in between longline hauls.

Daily System check:  Perform a system check by looking at the computer screen/monitor and click on “System Check”.

End of Each Trip:

Click on “End Trip” on the EM system computer Screen;

Remove hard drive(s) according to instructions in ‘pop up’ window:

After clicking on “End Trip” on the EM system computer screen, a window will pop up indicating either a single serial number or two serial numbers of the drive(s) that should be removed.  Based on the instructions, remove either one drive or both drives.  The drive to be removed will not always be on the same side.  It is only necessary to remove both drives if the computer system instructs you do so. (This will usually only be at the end of longer trips, on which more than one hard drive may be needed to store the video data).

Mail the Hard Drive(s) at the end of each trip.

Mailing Instructions:  After removal from the EM system computer, put the drive(s) in the padded cardboard mailing box (re-use the box that the blank drive was sent to you in), to protect the drive(s), and then place the box in a padded envelope, with your vessel name and a pre-paid, self-addressed return mailing label (or pre-paid self-addressed padded envelope).  It is your responsibility to use a padded box and envelope to protect the hard drives from damage during mailing.

Send the package via United States Postal Service (USPS) or FedEx (or another traceable method) to ERT, using the following address: 

Earth Resources Technology, Inc. (ERT) - EM Video Operator
8380 Colesville Road, Suite 100A
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Tel: 240-393-4213

ERT will send the vessel replacement hard drive(s) to the address you provide.  Not including vessel name and a pre-paid, self-addressed return mailing label in the package will delay the return of the hard drives and could lead to potential delays in fishing.   Most vessel operators use 9.5” X 12.5” padded USPS envelopes, which are free and may be ordered online.  Please call ERT at the above number if you have any questions about the process of mailing hard drives.

If you would like to buy replacement or extra hard drives, contact Saltwater, Inc., at 800-770-3241.

3rd Video Camera Option

Please note, current regulations authorize NMFS to require installation of up to 4 video cameras on a vessel fishing with pelagic longline gear.  If the vessel hauls its fishing gear from both sides of the vessel (as do many vessels in the Gulf of Mexico), or there is another reason why two cameras are insufficient to obtain high quality video imagery of the catch, a representative of Saltwater, Inc. will discuss the situation with the vessel owner to determine whether a 3rd camera is needed, or if changes in catch handling or current camera location can achieve the required view.

For electronic monitoring hard drive questions call ERT Inc.:  240-393-4213

For electronic monitoring system maintenance and repair call Saltwater Inc.:   800-770-3241.

For IBQ Program questions call:  301-427-8591

For further information, contact Thomas Warren or Brad McHale at 978-281-9260, Craig Cockrell at 301-427-8503, or Jennifer Cudney at 727-824-5399.


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