Electronic reporting for sablefish

18 Jan 2017
Sablefish landings will now be recorded using electronic fish tickets Photo: Alix Smith, NOAA

Sablefish landings will now be recorded using electronic fish tickets Photo: Alix Smith, NOAA

The US West Coast has adopted electronic reporting for all commercially caught sablefish which means that all landings will now be recorded on web-based electronic fish tickets instead of paper ones.

NOAA said that this new online format will replace or augment long-used paper tickets because data can sometimes take months to compile. Implementing electronic fish tickets will allow real-time access to catch information making harvest data more quickly available to fishery managers and law enforcement.

“Electronic fish tickets have proven beneficial in the catch share fishery,” said Gretchen Hanshew, who is leading the transition for NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region.

“The advantages of electronically reporting sablefish catch will become widely apparent to everyone using the information in the coming year, including industry and fishery managers. Also, working closely with our state partners, we are optimistic that 2017 will see additional benefits as duplicative reporting requirements are removed.”

Sablefish (also marketed as black cod) is a high-value commercial species, worth almost US$29 million (paid to vessels) in 2015. 

Most are caught with fixed gear- pelagic long lines or fish traps on the sea floor. Fishermen often catch most of the available quota, so accurate and timely in-season monitoring and management is needed to make sure the fishery does not exceed annual catch limits.

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