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NEFSC Study Fleet: Onboard Equipment

Fisheries Logbook Data Recording Software (FLDRS)

Inside of a wheel house

Vessels load Fisheries Logbook Data Recording Software (FLDRS) onto a dedicated onboard laptop. The software, which collects fishing effort and catch information on a haul by haul basis, is also integrated with the vessel's GPS, VMS, and depth sounder feeds. The fishing effort and catch data are the principle focus of the Study Fleet Program. The main goal is to enable fisherman to collect more accurate and precise data on where and how many fish are caught, and how much effort was expended. It is intended that this higher resolution data will lead to improved reporting accuracy, additional data for use in the stock assessment process, and a way for fishermen to share their knowledge and at-sea observations with the associated catch and effort. In addition, FLDRS provides a mechanism to develop cooperative relationships between commercial fishermen and fishery scientists.


AQUALogger 530 system

AQUAlogger Bluetooth Receiver

Star Oddi Logger System

Star Oddi Logger

Temperature-Depth Loggers

The Aquatec AQUALogger 530 is a system that allows fishers to view near real time bottom temperature after a fishing event. The loggers are designed to attach to fishing gear and are programmed to collect a temperature and depth measurement at set intervals. Once captains retrieve their fishing gear, the logger uploads the collected measurements to an onboard computer which then displays the data on a graph for captains to analyze. 

This data is collected by a Study Fleet field technician for use in hot spot mapping of the benthic zone. More importantly this information can help scientists determine if there are patterns between the presence of fish species and certain environmental variables.  In the near future this will be a factor in helping predict ocean temperatures. 

See a sample Aquatec TD probe data plot

Star Oddi Participating vessels who don't receive an Aquatec logger are equipped with a Star Oddi logger which also collects temperature and depth measurements at set intervals. These loggers are also attached to the fishing gear like the Aquatec Aqualogger 530. This logger does not offer a near real-time data graph upon retrieving the fishing gear however, the data is extracted when technicians do routine vessel visits.

The data collected from these units are utilized in the same manner as the Aquatec data. Some vessels prefer these loggers over the Aquatec because they may currently have a net mensuration system that displays real-time information.

Once this information is uploaded to the database our database managers will tie this data to the catch data recorded in the FLDRS recording software.

GPS Unit used on a fishing boat

Portable GPS Units

The FLDRS software communicates with multiple types of GPS units. We polls a vessel's GPS unit at fixed intervals and stores these data in a file that is downloaded by study fleet field scientists. These data allow us to visualize cruise tracks and ground truth the estimates of fishing effort. If a vessel's GPS unit for whatever reason does not communicate with the onboard computer we are able to suppy the particapant with a USB GPS device. This device allows the software to collect location data seemlessly.

Depth Sounder

Provides FLDRS with a depth value for a particular haul. Used to satisfy potential reporting requirements, and as a backup in the event of TD probe failure.

Vessel Monitoring System

Once all of these data are collected, they are transmitted via a VMS (Vessel Monitoring System) to the study fleet office where they are uploaded, audited, processed, and added to our Oracle database. Currently the FLDRS software supports Boatracs® VMS systems. Alternatively, trip data may be uploaded via the Vessel Electonic Reporting Web Portal to avoid VMS charges.

Vessel Electronic Reporting Web Portal

The Vessel Electronic Reporting Web Portal is a secure web-based application designed with the objective of making the data that a vessel collects available to the captain and owner to view, edit, and confirm, after a series of automatic audits has been run. A more interactive component of the Vessel Electronic Reporting Web Portal consists of a vessel electronic reporting map. The map enables the captain/owner to view the TD and GPS data collected. One very valuable feature of the mapping component is the ability to display the retained and discarded species for each trip in convenient pie charts. Individual efforts may also be viewed with associated temperature and depth data collected from the TD probe during the deployment that the trip took place

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