Observers and Innovations
Independent observers on vessels who monitor and record bycatch and catches form a very important part within effective fisheries management plans.However, monitoring, control, and surveillance of fishing vessels and their activities are difficult tasks, especially on the high seas.Consequently, many fisheries lack adequate observer coverage and even when a fisheries management body does have the desire to implement observers it can be too costly to implement effectively.
"Governments worldwide should make the installation of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) mandatory for every commercial fishing vessel to create transparency of fishing operations."
Alfred Schumm, Smart Fishing Initiative Leader.
The value of observers
In the same region, a partnership between fishermen, WWF, IATTC and NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) has resulted in extensive observer coverage on the longline fleet which is proving invaluable in informing fishermen about the correct usage of circle hooks as a way of reducing marine turtle bycatch from longline fisheries.
NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO REVOLUTIONIZE FISHERIES MONITORING
WWF brought together fisheries monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS) practitioners and the most advanced technology providers in their fields for a two day workshop in March where they explored the potential of new technologies such as drones, lasers, and advanced computing to fight illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in some of our most important fisheries. The workshop determined that many of these new and developing technologies are mature and ready for implementation while many others are rapidly advancing toward practical and economic solutions. Several MCS practitioners and government agencies established strong connections with the technology providers as a result of the event.
The materials presented at the workshop can be found here:
2016 MCS Emerging Technologies Workshop