This paper is part of a series that summarizes discussions from the 2022 Global Electronic Monitoring Symposium,1 which convened more than 50 EM experts, both in person and virtually, for a three-day workshop. The symposium focused both on the use of electronic monitoring programs to increase oversight and transparency in international fisheries management and on existing barriers to the uptake of EM. Although this series of papers does not represent an exhaustive discussion of the issues, it includes the key points that symposium participants raised.
Participants in the Global Electronic Monitoring Symposium (GEMS) identified a critical gap in communications between electronic monitoring (EM) service providers and those who develop EM programs, leading to a mismatch of EM expectations between the two groups. EM service providers are not involved in the fishery management negotiations process and thus are not fully aware of policy decisions at regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs) or national policies and government rules and regulations that can affect EM program development and implementation processes. And fisheries managers, for their part, may lack the familiarity with the technical capabilities of EM equipment that is needed to make informed decisions.
More organized engagement and collaboration between EM service providers and government authorities could enhance the understanding and discussion on the implementation of electronic monitoring—using technology to collect and analyze data on a fleet’s catch, fishing efforts and discards—as a tool. EM service providers participating in EM policy discussions at the RFMOs can help influence the type of requirements their technologies will have to meet and, in return, can share practical EM insights with policymakers.
Other stakeholders such as markets and industry partners have formed coalitions to amplify their voices and effectively participate at RFMOs and other regional EM discussions. Similarly, EM providers should form a coalition to participate efficiently in mutually beneficial bilateral consultations with fisheries managers, technical specialists and country representatives developing EM policies.
- GEMS Steering Committee members – Andrew Clayton, Claire van der Geest, Esther Wozniak, Eugene Pangelinan, Gerald Leape, Mark Zimring, Papa Kebe, Robert Gillett, Ruth Hoban
The Pew Charitable Trusts provided funding for this project, but Pew is not responsible for errors in this paper and does not necessarily endorse its findings or conclusions.