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The design, implementation and performance of an Observer Pre-trip Notification System (PTNS) for the Northeast United States groundfish fishery
Filetype[PDF-1.39 MB]

  • Description:
    "Historically, a dock intercept process was used to deploy observers in the northeast United States multispecies (groundfish) fishery. In this process, fishing trips for observer coverage were manually selected using pre-defined specifications established by the National Marine Fisheries Service's Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Amendment 16 to the Northeast Multispecies Fisheries Management Plan implemented major changes in the groundfish fishery, which affected the magnitude and complexity of observer deployment. These changes included: (a) creation of an additional 15 active groundfish sectors; (b) an approximate four-fold increase in the level of observer coverage; (c) introduction of a new class of trained observers; (d) potential for industry-funded observer coverage to supplement government-funded coverage; and (e) the need for the observer deployment process to directly support in-season monitoring of fishery discards. The dock intercept process was insufficient to adequately address these new provisions, and an automated observer pre-trip notification system (PTNS) was implemented in the northeast groundfish fishery on 1 May 2010. The PTNS uses a self-adjusting probability-based, tiered selection process to randomly assign observer coverage across the groundfish fleet on a proportional basis for the purpose of monitoring discards. The PTNS also addresses other objectives, such as monitoring of special management programs and protected species bycatch. In this paper, we discuss the design, implementation, and performance of the PTNS over the past three years"--Abstract.

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