NOAA’s northeast fisheries sector has announced that it will be reimbursing at-sea monitoring costs for the northeast groundfish sector.

The reimbursements will cover all northeast groundfish sector vessels fishing in the 2018 fishing year — May 1, 2018, through April 30, 2019. In addition, NOAA plans to add 25 percent to its existing 2017 reimbursements, bringing the total reimbursement for those costs to “approximately 85 percent.”

The reimbursement comes thanks to a funding increase for groundfish at-sea monitoring from Congress.

NOAA previously announced that it awarded the monitoring contract for the East Coast section –which includes the northeast groundfish sector – to AIS Inc., a Marion, Mass., based company. That five-year contract totals $50 million.

“Effective at-sea monitoring is essential to the success and sustainability of this fishery,” said Jon Hare, director of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, in a NOAA press release. “This $10.3 million increase from Congress for groundfish at-sea monitoring provides additional economic stability for the sector vessels.”

The funds will be used to support at-sea monitor training and equipment, process samples, continue development of electronic marketing technologies to reduce future costs, and cover agency costs for administering the program.

This story was originally published by Seafood Source and is republished here with permission.

Chris Chase is the Portland, Maine-based associate editor of SeafoodSource. Previously, he worked covering local issues at the Coastal Journal in Bath, Maine, where he won multiple awards from the Maine Press Association for his news coverage and food reviews. Chris is a graduate of the University of Maine, and got his start in writing by serving as a reporter and later the State Editor of The Maine Campus, an award-winning campus newspaper.

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