Satlink to train observers for remote rolesSatlink aims to train observers in working with electronic monitoring systems. Photo: Satlink

Satlink, which specialises in developing electronic monitoring technology for sustainable fishing, has launched an ambitious training program for on-board human observers who are responsible for compliance monitoring on vessels operating in various EEZs as some Regional Fisheries Organisations, such as the Western and Central Pacific Commission (WCPFC), have suspended the placement of human observers on purse seine vessels due to COVID-19 health concerns.

With this programme, Satlink is offering Regional Fisheries Organisations (RFOs), local governments and fleets the possibility of conducting fishery monitoring through video data and images captured by electronic on-board observation systems, such as the Satlink SeaTube system.

Satlink is making available career-enhancing EM training to these professionals to continue with fishery observation and monitoring to assure regulatory compliance.

The Satlink EM training programme would not only maintain the jobs of the observers in many parts of the Pacific, with around 800 professionals affected, but allow for more vessels to be monitored electronically, thus increasing the number of these professionals needed for video review.

Based on more than 5000 longline and purse seine vessels operating in the region, it is estimated that at least 25% more human observers will be needed. Importantly, this training would expand the use of EM and improve existing fishery monitoring and compliance activities that safeguard sustainable fishing practices which are at risk because of the absence of observers on-board.

“These electronic monitoring systems are not only the main source of precise, reliable and verified data for the development of better selective fishing practices and the establishment of measures that ensure the sustainability of the stocks, but also for the fixation and generation of employment on land and the improvement of working conditions for observers in terms of safety on board the vessels, conciliation and professional development,” said Satlink’s president Faustino Velasco, commenting that the company’s in depth knowledge of fisheries has allowed it to develop EM systems that are capable of continuously recording the activity on fishing vessels to check fishing practices and responsible treatment of crew.

Since 2014, the company also bases its expertise through having trained more than 150 people in how to perform data analysis activities around the world.

“With Satlink’s EM technology, human observers can generate from video review accurate reports on the composition of catches, size, bycatch and confirm fishing zones,” he said.

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