Electronic Monitoring Programs Can Improve Fisheries Oversight

Emerging technology would help managers improve data accuracy and compliance

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To ensure that fisheries are sustainable, managers need accurate data on catch and vessel activity. But with thousands of vessels operating on the high seas, beyond the reach and view of authorities, gathering and reviewing data can be difficult. Electronic monitoring (EM) programs offer regional fisheries management organizations—the multinational groups responsible for overseeing commercial fishing in 95% of the world’s ocean—an efficient, cost-effective way to increase oversight. Well-designed EM programs lead to better data and stronger fisheries governance, improving outcomes for both fish and fishers.

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.

Surveillance cameras
Surveillance cameras
Article

International Fisheries Managers' Pandemic Response Highlights Need to Expand Electronic Monitoring

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Article

International Fisheries Managers' Pandemic Response Highlights Need to Expand Electronic Monitoring

In response to the global spread of COVID-19, several regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) have suspended the requirement that vessels fishing in their waters have independent observers onboard. RFMOs—multinational bodies that oversee many of the fisheries on the high seas—took the step to limit the potential exposure of fishers, observers, and inspectors to the virus.