ELECTRONIC MONITORING TRIALS ON THE BAIT BOATS AND TROLL FLEETS OPERATING IN THE BAY OF BISCAY

Student: 
Cora Villar Arribi
Room: 
room 2
session: 
Session 4, July 1, 16:00-18:00

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) establishes through its recommendation 16-14, a minimum observer coverage of 5% of fishing effort in fisheries targeting tuna and tuna-like species. Sometimes is not possible to achieve adequate observer coverage due to lack of space or high costs of placing observers onboard. Thus, Electronic Monitoring Systems (EMS) have been introduced as a complement or alternative to human observers. This study is the first trial to compare the effectiveness of EMS on troll and bait boat fleet operating in the Bay of Biscay (Atlantic Ocean). A total of 86 days in two vessels using EMS were compared by the information provided from onboard observers to determine catch composition, biomass and length-frequency distribution of target species, bycatch on tuna and non-tuna species and endangered, threatened or protected (ETP) species interactions. Catch, biomass, size distribution of target species, bycatch of non-tuna and ETPs interactions did not display significant differences and were as reliable as onboard records, but for bycatch of tuna species the results turned to be underestimated. Additional operational configuration on the system needs to be addressed in future projects in order to fully implement the system and a standardized methodology.