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Introduction of the
electronic logbook
The Electronic Logbook

In 2005, Fisheries and Ocean Canada began work to introduce electronic logbooks to the Canadian fisheries. Presented first as a pilot project with a small number of volunteer fishers, the experimental project involved testing various software and technological solutions that would permit the electronic transmission of catch and effort data. The project now has over 200 participants from all of Canada’s maritime regions.

The electronic logbook is in fact a computer program that is used aboard a fishing boat and can transmit information about fishing catches and effort electronically to the Department via satellite, cell phone or Internet. The information is received and processed on a national server and then recorded in a national data base.   

The software is very user-friendly; even someone new to computers can use it. When compared to paper logbooks, the date recorded in the electronic logbook is of greater quality and more precise.

The tool serves not only to gather information that is useful for the fisher but also to improve the quality and precision of data and make them available more quickly to fisheries managers, just a few of its advantages. Some software on the market can even be used to manage a fishery business by providing tools to monitor income and expenses. A final and not the least advantage, a tool of this kind improves the traceability of fishery products.

In Quebec, in 2011, 84 lobster harvesters from the Gaspé Peninsula and the Magdalen Islands as well as 14 shrimpers will be using software to transmit their data electronically. In 2012, use of the electronic logbook will become mandatory for Gaspé Peninsula lobster harvesters and for shrimpers fishing in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Denis Tremblay
Fisheries Management
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