Tucked away on the western shores of Washington State lies the small town of Westport, home to the Quinault Indian Nation’s Dungeness crab fishing fleet
– and a quiet shift in American fisheries management.
Twenty-five vessels form the Quinault crab fleet, deploying 10,000 crab traps per season. The fleet has recognized the need to track fishing activity and trap locations in order to prevent gear abandonment and tampering. Coupled with an industry-wide recognition that fishing has become more difficult due to environmental and enforcement issues, the Quinault are leading the drive for better and more transparent data collection
to help them manage these challenges.
Our electronic monitoring
emphasizes accessibility, giving the Quinault information they can use to co-manage their fisheries and hopefully change the status quo around crab monitoring in Washington State.
Last year, 3 Quinault vessels piloted our monitoring system. This year, the entire fleet is sporting Ecotrust Canada’s EM boxes, and they’re hoping non-Native fishermen will join them too.