Our Approach

Selected EM Projects

Selected EM Projects

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  • > Atlantic HMS Pelagic Longline: Tuna and Swordfish

    In 2014, NOAA Fisheries finalized new management measures to end overfishing and rebuild bluefin tuna stocks in the western Atlantic. The measures included the introduction of individual bycatch quotas and electronic monitoring of the pelagic longline fleet targeting tuna and swordfish off the U.S. East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean. NOAA Fisheries (Highly Migratory Species Division) selected Saltwater to provide the EM systems and services for this program. In addition to continuing to provide technical support and training services to the fleet, Saltwater is currently working with NOAA Fisheries to look for ways to improve the data quality and add value and industry buy-in to the program. With over 100 EM systems deployed since 2015, this is the largest EM program implemented in the U.S. — and the largest EM program in the world focused on the highly migratory tuna fishery.

  • > Alaska Fixed Gear: Cod, Halibut, Sablefish

    Since 2012, Saltwater has worked with the North Pacific Fishermen’s Association (NPFA), the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries to develop and field test an EM solution for small boats in the Pacific Cod, halibut and sablefish fixed gear fisheries. With support from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), Saltwater provided stakeholder training, customized EM systems, technical support and data review services using open-source review software (redesigned to project specifications) and a highly skilled review team. Today Saltwater continues to work with fishermen’s groups and the Council to move this effort toward full program implementation, currently scheduled for 2019.

  • > Pacific Islands Pelagic Longline: Tuna & Swordfish

    Observer coverage in the Hawaii Pelagic Longline fleet can be as high as 100% for shallow-set vessels, so finding cost-effective monitoring options for the long-term is a priority. In 2016, the NOAA Fisheries-Pacific Islands Fishery Science Center contracted Saltwater to implement a project to determine whether EM could be used to meet their monitoring requirements. Saltwater recruited volunteer participants, installed custom systems, trained vessel operators and now provides ongoing tech support and customized open-source data review software to carry out review. Comparisons between EM and observer data support the value of using EM to monitor this fishery. We continue to work with NOAA Fisheries and industry to improve data quality, increase the efficiency of the review process, and explore new ways to utilize EM to support responsible sourcing in this fishery.

  • > Gulf of Mexico Reef Fishery

    Since 2015, Saltwater has been working with Mote Marine Laboratory and industry volunteers to determine if EM can provide the data required by NOAA Fisheries to accurately monitor the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fishery. This is a multi-species fishery managed using Annual Catch Limits. With over 800 participating vessels and an observer program covering only about 1% of the trips, there is significant incentive to use EM to obtain higher coverage rates. Mote is also using EM data to document shark and other threatened species interactions.

  • > New England Midwater Trawl: Herring

    The New England herring fishery is under extreme pressure, and the fleet has experienced dramatic cuts to their quota. In 2016, NOAA Fisheries contracted Saltwater to to test whether EM could be used for compliance monitoring in this fishery, and whether it would be more cost effective than at-sea observers. All active vessels in the fleet voluntarily participated in the pilot project. Based on the findings, the New England Fisheries Management Council approved EM in March 2018 as a monitoring option for the fleet.

  • > Antarctic Toothfish

    The Antarctic Toothfish fishery is governed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). This fishery is one of the most sustainably managed in the world, and licenced vessels are tasked with providing scientists ashore with a high level of scientific data to ensure ongoing sustainability of this species.


    Talley’s Group Ltd, a New Zealand seafood company proactively contracted Saltwater in 2017 to trial a custom EM system on board their Auto Longliner for a scientific survey in Bellingshausen Sea. The Janas is licenced by CCAMLR to fish in Antarctic waters for Toothfish. The EM system successfully collected data under extreme weather conditions on a trip lasting over 3 months. This was the first time comprehensive EM data had been collected and analysed in this fishery, and preliminary results were very favourably received by Members of CCAMLR. As a result of this initial successful trial, we have been asked to install systems on additional vessels, from other member nations, also operating in the fishery. The company plans to continue with the system in the coming season, incorporating more features to assist the vessel’s Observers with data collection and their onboard observations.

  • > West Coast Trawl: Groundfish

    Since 2010, Saltwater has been working with industry and government to develop and implement an EM program to supplement the observer program in various West Coast fisheries. Saltwater is now an approved provider for this fishery and is providing EM systems and services to multiple vessels.

Saltwater Inc.  •  733 N Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99501  •  Phone (907) 276-3241  •  Toll-Free (800) 770-3241