High Tech on the High Seas No Images? Click here

High Tech on the High Seas

Electronic monitoring (EM) has been a fisheries management tool for more than a decade, using onboard computers and sensors to record video, GPS, and other data from each vessel. This system gives fishery managers a detailed view of harvests and helps prevent overfishing and illegal practices.

Unfortunately, while these EM systems are effective for management, they are very expensive for smaller fishing operations. In response, Ecotrust Canada has developed a cost-effective EM system that can be adapted for almost any fishery, with the goal of improving communities’ abilities to pursue environmentally and economically sustainable livelihoods.

Our EM system enables more affordable, effective management of fisheries large and small – collecting high quality data, supporting collaborative fisheries management, engaging fishermen in reporting fishing activity and stock status, and promoting socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable fishing communities around the world.


Click below to watch the video on YouTube:

Watch on YouTube: Electronic Monitoring

Amanda Barney joined Ecotrust’s Skeena office in 2012 as the Manager of our Marine Monitoring Initiative. Since then, she has overseen the adaptation of EM technology for fisheries throughout BC and North America. As a Newfoundlander who has lived near the sea all her life, Amanda truly understands the benefits that small-scale fisheries bring home to communities:

"Fishing isn't just an industry, and fish isn't just another protein. Local fisheries add huge social capital to coastal communities."


As Ecotrust Canada enters its 20th year, I am continually amazed and excited by the unusual places where we find ourselves working. Fisheries monitoring may seem like a strange thing for a charity to pursue, but we have already seen some wonderful results:

  • More choice - Our EM alternative has introduced low-cost competition, reinvigorating the industry.
  • Lower monitoring costs have meant that more small boats can stay on the water, bringing added employment and income to local communities.
  • High-quality fisheries data have supported DFO’s fisheries management goals.
  • Data sharing with fishermen has supported their advocacy and direct participation in fisheries management.

We are driven by the belief that engaging those most impacted is the best way to design solutions that are effective and adaptable. We are proud to be working with BC’s commercial fishing fleets to bring positive change to this industry. With your help, we will continue to seek out surprising new arenas to bring about community-led change.


With thanks,