A pilot project is already ongoing to test the system’s efficiency, whereby electronic monitoring equipment have been placed on two purse seiners flagged in Seychelles and two accompanying e-monitoring data analysis units have been installed at the SFA headquarters. Its main objective is to prove that EMS can be used as a tool to monitor compliance and to collect scientific data.
The necessary equipment has been provided by the Organisation of Associated Producers of Large Tuna Freezers (OPAGAC). The organisation is also offering training on e-monitoring for SFA staff, fishermen and other crew members on the vessels.
To formalise the project, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed this week between the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) and OPAGAC. The documents were signed by Roy Clarisse, the acting chief executive (CEO) of SFA and Julio Moron Ayala, director general of OPAGAC.
Other than OPAGAC, the project which is being implemented by the SFA is benefitting from the assistance of the Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The EMS has been developed to monitor fishing activities with a view to improving the quality of scientific data collected. According to the SFA, e-monitoring may be more transparent, accountable and cost effective than on board observers and can be used to increase observer coverage or in situations where boarding of fishing vessels is not possible.
The system is based on the recording of VMS data and collecting and keeping video footage from several cameras installed on the vessels to cover all fishing, loading, unloading and other associated operations.
This pilot project will also compare catch estimates from EMS against those obtained from sampling and oversampling of selected fishing banks in order to ensure that the information obtained is precise and unbiased.
Source : Seychelles NATION