Panama City, FL - July 20, 2012: Elemental Methods has been selected by the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to develop a tablet application for the monitoring of commercial fishing catches in the Gulf of Mexico and Southeast Atlantic Ocean. The NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center - Panama City Laboratory Observer Program monitors catch and bycatch on bottom longline fishing vessels. Vessels in this fishery are typically fiberglass and average up to 50 feet in length. Longline characteristics vary regionally; however, gear normally consists of about 5-15 miles of longline and 500-1500 hooks. Gear is set at sunset and allowed to soak overnight before hauling back in the morning. The tablet application will allow NMFS observers to enter and transmit data while at-sea from fishing vessels using either an existing vessel monitoring system (VMS) or satellite transmission.
The data collected will be used by the Panama City Lab in research relevant to the formulation of rational plans to manage the marine fishery resources of the U.S. South Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico.