What You Need To Know About Electronic Logging For Commercial Fisheries

With the Electronic Logging (ELOG) System for commercial fisheries rolling out this spring, we wanted to give you an overview of how the system works while it is going through client application phases. The long-term goal for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is to mandate ELOGS in most commercial fisheries in Canada to effectively utilize catch and effort data for the sustainable management of the industry.

Section 61 of the Fisheries Act requires that fish harvesters keep a log of their catches and their fishing efforts and submit them to DFO. The ELOG System was developed in order to replace paper-based logsheets with XML electronic files to streamline reporting and to improve the quality of catch and effort data reported by fish harvesters. These data are essential for the monitoring and management of fish resources. The ELOG system is designed to replace hard copy logbooks and fulfill all catch reporting and license requirements electronically while eliminating manual data entry upon submission. While the eLog system must include core paper logbooks information presently used in the commercial fleet, it includes many other features which are possible with digital applications only and which include a user-friendly interface, automatic completion of summary reports, real-time transmission of daily reports, digital validation and many other features which significantly increase the quality and credibility of catch and effort data sent to the DFO.

The ELOG system client applications will be developed in two phases:

  1. Phase 1, started spring 2018: The purpose of the first phase is to make the ELOG system available for use by fish harvesters directly. Fish harvesters will be the only users of ELOG client applications during this phase.
  2. Phase 2, starting in 2019: In the second phase, fish harvesters and service providers will both be ELOG users. The purpose of this phase is to evaluate the possibility of integrating the data provided by a service provider that had been instructed by fish harvesters to input, verify or correct the data.

ELOG System Details:

Changes to a Closed Data Group
Currently, DFO does not specify how data is managed within client applications after it is submitted. For the time being, any changes to a closed data group will be through a manual process by communicating directly with DFO to submit a change request. A record in the ELOG system will indicate that the information has been submitted to DFO and the log is now closed.

Unique Identifier
The unique ELOG identifier shall be generated randomly by the ELOG client application and consist of a random set of six uppercase alphabetic characters from A to Z. The identifier shall always have six characters (EX: ARJHYE), ensuring that there is a 1 in 387,420,489 chance of generating the same identifier. The identifier is based on each trip (not vessel) and used to match documents from other sources (weigh out, summary, purchase, slips, hails) to the logbook so it is easy for the fish harvester to locate. The identifier is entered into the LGBK_UID element of the TRIP node in the XML file.

Logbook Verification
ELOG client application users who are fish harvesters, or persons authorized by fish harvesters, must be able to view at least all the data included in the last recorded logbook, regardless if the data has been submitted.

Data Group Verification
Users must be required to close data groups for the previous trip before creating a new trip but are not required to submit their data to DFO before creating a new trip.

Data Transmission
If a form includes a section for a daily report, the ELOG client application must provide the option to transmit the “daily report” portion of the logbook only. In this case, only the ELOG, TRIP, DAILY_REPORT, DR_GRP and DR_DETAIL nodes will be included in the submitted data.

Archive of ELOG files
All ELOG XML files must be stored and remain accessible for up to three years, prohibiting any modification or deletion within this time frame. After three years the files can be permanently deleted. Data can be stored offline but must remain accessible.

Transmission Time
Once the user has initiated the transmission process, DFO shall receive the data as soon as possible, with the exception of any technological issues (communication link unavailable, bad communications link, broken equipment, electrical failure, web services unavailable, etc.).

Supplier Instructions
The ELOG client application copyright holder is responsible for producing supplier instructions. Supplier instructions are intended to provide ELOG users with directions on how to complete the logbook (user guidelines, help and helpdesk facilities, etc.) as per DFO’s requirements.

ELOG data must be protected from unauthorized disclosure or access by any parties other than DFO or the fish harvester the data originated from. Disclosure or access to ELOG data to additional parties requires written approval from both the fish harvester and DFO, with the exception of technical support.

Authenticity and Integrity
Data received by DFO must fully represent what has been entered by the user. The ELOG copyright holder agrees to provide information that describes how the application works and how it is known that the data submitted to DFO accurately reflects what was recorded by the user.

Wireless coverage and accessibility will be the key components to successfully implement the ELOG system across the fishing industry. For over 35 years, Nova Communications has been committed to creating and supporting wireless voice and data systems across a wide range of industries. From design and engineering to installation and maintenance, we help our customers accelerate the way they work with industry-leading infrastructure technologies and our manufacturer-trained technical services team.

Contact us for information on our Electronic Logging Solutions. 



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