The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved funding to defray costs for electronic commercial fishing monitoring.
Advocates of electronic monitoring hope it will replace in-person monitoring, which costs commercial fishermen $700 every time they have to bring someone out with them. Monitoring efforts are used to regulate catch sizes.
Josh Wiersma of the Environmental Defense Fund says that the current in-person effort is mandated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); however, it leads to inaccurate results, and fishermen don’t have room for extra people on their boats.
The NOAA shifted the cost of in-person monitors to the fishermen after it says it ran out of money.
Fishermen will be able to apply for and receive grants to access funds for electronic monitoring, if approved by Congress, Wiersma says.
Both Ayotte and Shaheen have been working to promote electronic monitoring and reducing the financial burden on commercial fishermen.