Electronic monitoring system. (Credit: Archipelago Marine Research Ltd.)
NOAA will now require all fishing vessels using pelagic longline gear to use electronic equipment to monitor fish catches including Atlantic bluefin, according to a recent article in Fish Information and Services.
This amendment to the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan applies to fishing vessels in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. The amendment was adopted after thorough evaluation of the electronic monitoring equipment and its effectiveness. It is considered critical in current fisheries management, where the amount of Atlantic bluefin and other species caught must be carefully tracked to ensure bluefin quotas are not being exceeded.
Some funding was provided by NOAA to install electronic equipment on some vessels to make them compliant. It is unknown if more funding will be available.
Atlantic Bluefin tuna are no longer on the endangered species list but they are still considered to be a species of concern.
Top image: Electronic monitoring system. (Credit: Archipelago Marine Research Ltd.)