| Implementation of electronic logbook reporting in a squid bottom trawl study fleet during 2002 - :5340 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
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Implementation of electronic logbook reporting in a squid bottom trawl study fleet during 2002
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  • Description:
    An electronic logbook reporting system was implemented in a study fleet of commercial vessels that fished for Northern shortfin squid (Illex illecebrosus) during June-September 2002. Project objectives included the design of an electronic logbook reporting system that would fulfill the existing regulatory requirements for logbook reporting and that would improve the resolution, quality and timeliness of fishery data for stock assessments. The data collection process involved at-sea and web-based components. Catch, effort, depth, water temperature and location data were collected in real-time by vessel operators, on a tow-by-tow basis, through the execution of two macros. Data contained in the two macros were transmitted via e-mail to the Northeast Fisheries Science Center following each tow and at the end of each day by a satellite service provider. A Perl script was written to extract data from the e-mails upon their receipt and to load the data into a relational database. Upon completion of a trip, vessel operators logged onto secure, personal web sites that were password-protected and then verified the data entered at sea, assigned tows to specific trips and entered supplemental data required to meet existing logbook reporting requirements. The web site included an interactive mapping program that allowed vessel operators to visualize the spatial distribution of their data and to query their data to produce hardcopy logbook reports. The auditing process relied primarily on error correction by vessel operators during the website data review and entry process, but error checking was also included at the data entry and database processing levels. Squid length and weight data were collected by staff from squid processing plants and subsequently entered into an Oracle database that included links to the tow and catch databases. The study demonstrated that electronic logbook reporting offers an efficient, cost-effective means of collecting accurate, high resolution fisheries and oceanographic data that is useful to fishermen, stock assessment scientists and fisheries managers.

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