The Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP) wants to evaluate electronic fish reporting on the Atlantic Coast. The first part of this project is a survey to collect attitudes and opinions from Atlantic coast fishermen and dealers about the current state of electronic reporting.
John Carmichael, with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and Project Leader, explains "Fishermen and data managers both appear to have strong opinions on electronic reporting programs, so this project was begun to describe those opinions and better understand their basis. Information from this survey will be critical to addressing the concerns of the end users as future electronic reporting programs are considered.
"A great aspect of the project is how scientists and fishery representatives are working together. For example, the questions asked in the survey, and how they are worded, were largely determined by the fisheries representatives. This gives a bit of a different, and I think appropriate, tone to the survey than other efforts fishermen may have encountered."
This project will be collecting information from the survey link or paper copies until May 31, 2013.
The second phase of the project will be a workshop in Fall of 2013 reviewing this survey information, as well as other surveys and papers on the subject of fisheries electronic reporting. Overall goals of the project include 1) creating recommendations on current electronic reporting programs and approaches, 2) identifying frequently asked questions on electronic reporting systems, 3) evaluating the real costs and benefits electronic reporting systems, as well as 4) improving outreach and public understanding of electronic reporting systems. The final product will be a report released in the Spring of 2014.