Workshop on West Coast Electronic Fishery Information Systems

Workshop to be held May 3-4, 2011 - Sheraton Portland Airport, Portland, OR

West Coast fisheries are facing major challenges that require collection of real time (RT) and near real time (NRT) information. Whether it is quota accounting, observer coverage, bycatch management, electronic logbooks/fish tickets, research and monitoring, spatial mapping, or product tracking and marketing, demands are growing for high resolution RT and NRT data. At the same time, rapidly improving technologies increase the speed, reliability, and capacity for storing, communicating, and sharing fisheries data. But there are major questions: Who owns this data and how will it be shared? Can data be used to improve the economic success of the industry while also meeting regulatory requirements? How do we avoid costly and duplicative systems? And how do we ensure that systems designed to share data also protect individual privacy? The transition to RT and NRT electronic systems pose potential benefits but also raise major issues.

This two-day workshop will provide an overview of the changes occurring on the West Coast with respect to RT and NRT fishery data collecting systems and examples of innovative approaches being developed in the U.S. and Canada. Interactive workshop sessions will provide opportunities for exploring many of the issues related to developing and implementing these systems including technology, privacy, transparency, costs, interoperability, contracting, and data uses. A workshop report will summarize findings and provide recommendations designed to improve future development of RT and NRT systems that meet the needs of industry, scientists, and managers.


This practical workshop will be of value to fishermen, fishery managers, scientists, and NGOs. All other interested parties are welcome to participate.


Jeff Feldner Oregon Sea Grant, Nancy Fitzpatrick Oregon Salmon Commission, Pete Lawson National Marine Fisheries Service, Heather Mann Community Seafood Initiative, Rod Moore West Coast Seafood Processors Association, Brad Pettinger, Oregon Trawl Commission, Maggie Sommer Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Gil Sylvia Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES)


Additional information will be forwarded in the coming weeks and posted on the COMES website ( by February 16. Please contact Gil Sylvia, Oregon State University,, with questions or suggestions for speakers.

Video: Strategies for Minimizing Observer and Other Costs

Five representatives of leading observer companies stress collaboration and communication with fishermen as keys to lowering observer costs.Panelists include: Tim Carroll, Saltwater Inc.; David Edick, Alaskan Observers Inc.; Stacey Hansen, NW Observers Inc.; Troy Quinlan, TechSEA International; and Bryan Belay, MRAG.

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