Electronic Monitoring Programs for Global Fisheries

Electronic Monitoring Programs for Global Fisheries

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Electronic Monitoring Programs for Global Fisheries
Electronic Monitoring Programs Can Improve Fisheries Oversight

Regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) are responsible for overseeing commercial fishing in more than 95% of the world’s ocean. Managers must be able to track data on catch and vessel activity to ensure that fishing is sustainable, but such monitoring is difficult when vessels operate far from shore, beyond the reach and view of authorities.

Many RFMOs require observers onboard some types of vessels, but fisheries managers, scientists, and other stakeholders increasingly recognize the need to expand coverage to all vessels to more accurately assess catch, bycatch, fishing effort, and compliance with regulations. Electronic monitoring (EM) programs offer a way to complement human observer coverage and expand oversight to fleets that are not independently monitored.

These fact sheets and other resources are designed to help RFMOs and interested stakeholders create effective EM programs that will improve oversight of international fisheries while increasing transparency and accountability. 

High Seas
High Seas
Issue Brief

A Key Tool for Global Fisheries

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Issue Brief

A Key Tool for Global Fisheries

Each year, thousands of commercial fishing vessels ply the world’s high seas, hauling in catch ranging from sardines to giant tunas. In 2014, the most recent year for which data are available, vessels operating in these areas beyond national jurisdiction caught 4.4 million metric tons of fish, valued at $7.6 billion.

Fact Sheet

5 Ways to Improve Oversight

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Fact Sheet

5 Ways to Improve Oversight

Across the globe, regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) are responsible for overseeing the catch of highly migratory fishes that traverse the waters of many nations. To ensure that these fisheries are sustainable, RFMOs need reliable data on what, how, and where fish are caught, and whether rules and regulations are being followed.

Additional Resources

Regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) are responsible for overseeing commercial fishing in more than 95% of the world’s ocean. Managers must be able to track data on catch and vessel activity to ensure that fishing is sustainable, but such monitoring is difficult when vessels operate far from shore, beyond the reach and view of authorities.

In light of the impacts that COVID-19 has had on fisheries oversight, it is now clearer than ever that RFMOs need to embrace electronic monitoring. Although there may be challenges in developing an Electronic Monitoring (EM) program, those issues are solvable.

These fact sheets and other resources are designed to help RFMOs and interested stakeholders create effective EM programs that will improve oversight of international fisheries while increasing transparency and accountability. 

Electronic Monitoring Programs Can Improve Fisheries Oversight
High Seas
High Seas
Issue Brief

A Key Tool for Global Fisheries

Quick View
Issue Brief

A Key Tool for Global Fisheries

Each year, thousands of commercial fishing vessels ply the world’s high seas, hauling in catch ranging from sardines to giant tunas. In 2014, the most recent year for which data are available, vessels operating in these areas beyond national jurisdiction caught 4.4 million metric tons of fish, valued at $7.6 billion.

Fact Sheet

5 Ways to Improve Oversight

Quick View
Fact Sheet

5 Ways to Improve Oversight

Across the globe, regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) are responsible for overseeing the catch of highly migratory fishes that traverse the waters of many nations. To ensure that these fisheries are sustainable, RFMOs need reliable data on what, how, and where fish are caught, and whether rules and regulations are being followed.

What are the benefits of Electronic Monitoring?

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About Us

The Pew Charitable Trusts’ conservation efforts—both in the U.S. and abroad—help to preserve wild places and rivers, restore biodiversity, and increase the understanding of ocean ecology. On land, we focus on conserving wildlife corridors, shorelines, and pristine landscapes, as well as advancing policies that prioritize investments in flood-ready infrastructure and national park maintenance. Pew also works to minimize the consequences of overfishing, pollution, warming waters, and loss of habitat. Our conservation goals are based on facts from science and data research.

Visit the project homepage for more information on Pew's work in International Fisheries.

Transshipment
Transshipment
Fact Sheet

Best Practices for Transshipment

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Fact Sheet

Transshipment of catch between vessels plays an enormous role in the global commercial fishing industry. Hundreds of refrigerated cargo vessels, or fish “carriers,” take fresh catch from thousands of fishing vessels each year and bring it to shore for processing.

Tuna
Tuna
Data Visualization

Global Values and Trends for Tuna Fisheries

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Data Visualization

Commercial tuna fisheries contribute more than $40 billion to the global economy each year, but high demand for these species has depleted their economic and ecological value. To investigate trends in the catch and value of these fisheries, The Pew Charitable Trusts has published two reports estimating the global values for commercial tuna fisheries targeting seven species.