PacFIN Annual Meeting  A “Virtual” Success 

Brad Stenberg and Jenny Suter

The 2020 PacFIN Annual Meeting was conducted entirely online for the first time in its 40-year history! The two-day format, held on October 28th and 29th allowed for an expanded participation group outside of the Pacific Coast Fisheries Data Committee (PCFDC) core group to attend sessions selectively. The PacFIN team used a variety of applications to encourage member engagement in the virtual environment, including pre-meeting surveys (Google Forms), a live polling/interactive presentation software (Mentimeter), and a collaborative, digital whiteboard (Google Jamboard). In addition, the moderated chat feature in GoToMeeting allowed participants to queue questions and responses in real-time without interrupting the speakers. The participants had access to all of the meeting documents, including Partner Updates (summaries from each of the member agencies on collaborative work with PacFIN), presentations, and supporting documents via ShareFile. 

The agenda was structured around PacFIN workgroups that meet regularly throughout the year. The Data Management workgroup session reported on the status of the Biological Data System (BDS) redevelopment, the state of logbook data in PacFIN including the addition of fixed gear logbook data from the state of Oregon, and enhancements to the HMS logbook database. The PacFiN team also presented newly developed data acquisition methods, including a web API with WDFW, and enhancements to the web-based APEX upload application. The Groundfish workgroup utilized a list of project ideas from the Groundfish Management Team (GMT) survey for clarification and prioritization of development needs to better understand the project priorities for 2021 and what resources will be required for each project. The HMS workgroup kicked off an FIS-funded project to redevelop the SAFE report in the PacFIN APEX Reporting System, including updates to the fishery descriptions in the written report, using the Jamboard to collect ideas from the participants.

Other presentations included: 

  • Erin Steiner and Niels Leuthold presenting on the federal COVID-19 response and the status of fisheries as affected by the pandemic. 
  • Future PacFIN product training and planning ideas with distributed sign-up sheets to gage interest. 
  • Liz Hellmers presenting on the CDFW Commercial Landings Data Improvement Procedure (COLA DIP). 
  • Theresa Tsou presenting on WDFW Species Composition Sampling development. 
  • Camille Kohler on PacFIN Communities/Socio-Economic reporting tools. 
  • Fishery Definitions, including the current state of fishery definitions, the Protected Resources List of Fisheries project and the FIS grant for Identifying Fishing Trips and Defining Fisheries, as presented by Rob Ames, Camille Kohler and Niels Leuthold respectively. 
  • Enforcement Solutions, including presentations by Yan Jiang on PacFIN APEX Reporting System development, Camille Kohler on the Enforcement Data Management Application (YODA) and Rob Ames on analytical products using the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). 

Jenny Suter, Rob Ames, and Brad Stenberg hosted a post-meeting brainstorming session to advance new strategies for user documentation, using the COMPREHENSIVE_FT User Manual as the model for a future redesign of all of the PacFIN Comprehensive User Manuals. A large group of participants stuck around to share ideas (and their favorite documentation-themed memes) on a Jamboard.

Thanks to all who participated to make this virtual event a resounding success!