This report from the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance and Digital Public presents opportunities and possible models for the New England groundfish community to own, control, manage, and use fisheries data, with a particular focus on governing electronic monitoring data. It is the product of two workshops organized by The Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance and facilitated by Digital Public in the fall of 2018.
Among the fishing community, there is a sense that fishermen are on the outside of a data monopoly. As data collection systems modernize, fishermen have the chance to build a parallel data collection ecosystem. With independent access to data, the fishing community can support independent research, develop new business opportunities, and pursue additional uses for their data as they see fit.
The future of data management in New England groundfish fisheries has yet to be written. To better prepare the fishing community for that future, this report presents a menu of options: technical and legal models for how data projects may be architected and governed.
This report’s technical models fall into three categories: standards body, clearinghouse, and repository. For each data project, the community’s core choice is whether to hold data itself or to facilitate access to data.
This report’s legal models focus on the relationship between a data project’s manager and fishermen. It discusses trusts and organizations as possible legal homes for a data project, and outlines specific powers and duties for a project’s manager.