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EcoCast: Improving Ecological and Economic Sustainability of Marine Fisheries Using Remotely-sensed Oceanographic Data

Balancing sustainable ecological and economic objectives is a continuing challenge for fisheries managers. Many US fisheries harvest healthy target stocks, however, bycatch of non-target species is common, and can result in large-scale fishery closures. Technological advancements in remote sensing over the past decade have revolutionized the way fishermen target ocean resources and the amount of data available on the ocean environment. In partnership with the California drift gillnet fishery and National Marine Fisheries Service, we aim to use these data to balance protection of ecological resources and economic viability. The objective of this Feasibility Study Project is to evaluate the applicability of EcoCatch, a near real-time, multi-species fisheries management tool. Our approach will build on previous NASA-funded projects, TurtleWatch and WhaleWatch, that couple spatial data of protected species with remotely-sensed data to successfully reduce bycatch and other human impacts. We will use remotely sensed satellite oceanographic, fisheries and satellite tracking data to produce near-real time spatial models of target catch and bycatch, assimilating additional information from fishermen input. Our objective is to develop a predictive tool that will enhance conservation of protected and non-target species, while maintaining sustainability and profitability of the fishery.

Project URL:

Geographic Scope: Regional

Project Status: Complete

Participation Tasks: Data entry, Geolocation, Identification, Measurement, Observation,

Start Date: 2013-12-19

Project Contact:

Federal Government Sponsor:

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Other Federal Government Sponsor:

Fields of Science: Animals, Ecology and environment, Science policy

Intended Outcomes: Programmatic, Research development, Civic and community, Individual learning, Conservation,