Initiated in 1995, the 4VsW Sentinel Program utilizes commercial longliners to collect information on bycatch species, predator-prey relationships and environmental conditions. Longline gear allows operations to be conducted in all areas, including inshore waters and on bottom types that DFO could not sample using a survey trawl. To collect this information, fishermen record their total catch, fish length, fish weight, sex, otoliths, stomachs, water temperature and CTD (conductivity, temperature and depth) data.
A year after its initiation, fishermen were concerned that the sampling method did not give an accurate representation of fishing efforts. To help combat this concern, a commercial index project was introduced to help reflect normal fishing activity. This was discontinued in 2007, as results of the Larocque Ruling. Currently the project samples 18 stations with 2 strata, a decline from the past which saw over 200 stations sampled.
The data collected in the Sentinel Project is used to establish a series of catch rate and abundance indices to help in assessment and management of ground fish resources.
Results and Reports
Years the Project Ran
Although most of FSRS research focuses on biological oceanography data, many of our projects, including Sentinel, also collect information on the physical oceanographic factors such as sea surface temperature, bottom temperature and water column profiles.