Poster by: Sarah McTee O’Brien
Fishery management goals that require accurate accounting of annual catch levels are increasing the need for robust fishery-dependent data. Limited financial resources to support fisheries monitoring underscore the importance of cost efficiency and transparency in the use of government funds and industry fees. Fisheries managers and industry stakeholders interested in optimizing the economics of their monitoring programs are encouraged to evaluate tools currently used to meet monitoring objectives, explore how those tools can be best utilized optimized, and determine the appropriateness of new or additional monitoring approaches, including electronic monitoring (EM) and electronic reporting (ER) tools.
Modifying a fishery monitoring program to include new sources of data or data collection tools can require regulatory revisions, changes in personnel, and the development of new infrastructure. Understanding the scope of change required and communicating those needs to relevant stakeholders, is critical to planning and successfully implementing a monitoring program.
The Fishery Monitoring Roadmap is an attempt to assist managers and stakeholders in these processes. Composed of five complementary sections, the “Roadmap” includes: (1) a step-by-step process for evaluating, designing and implementing a fishery monitoring program; (2) a Matrix to help identify data needs and an assessment of the ability of monitoring tools to meet those needs; (3) an outline of practical considerations and trade-offs of various monitoring tools; (4) a list of relevant references and resources; and (5) case studies to demonstrate how similar fisheries are implementing different monitoring tools.
As fishery managers and stakeholders look to new and emerging technologies to meet fishery monitoring and data needs, it is important to recognize that incorporating EM or ER into a fishery monitoring program is a multi-step process that must be tailored to the specific needs of the fishery, fleet and often vessel. The Fishery Monitoring Roadmap helps stakeholders understand differences between monitoring tools, and match tools with clearly identified management and monitoring goals, ultimately allowing for the optimization of fishery monitoring programs.