In 2018, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and CEA Consulting (CEA) released the report, “Catalyzing the Growth of Electronic Monitoring in Fisheries.” The report highlighted that many of the world’s fisheries lack accurate data about what is happening on the water. Even in fisheries with human observers, low cover-age rates, basic human limitations that prevent viewing everything happening onboard, and even threats and bribery can limit data quality. The result is that fishery managers do not have the information they need to get the rules of the game right and ensure compliance with regulations. Electronic monitoring (EM), which is an integrated system of onboard cameras and sensors to record fishing activity and extract data, has proven to be an effective tool to help solve this challenge and deliver the granular on-the-water data necessary for effective fisheries management at scale.
The 2018 report highlighted that, although growth of EM has historically been slow, it was at an inflection point and poised for more rapid growth. The report presented several recommendations to catalyze EM growth. It has been 18 months since we presented this investment blueprint. This progress update report revisits the original recommendations, assesses the progress and new innovations that have been made, identifies key remaining barriers, and updates the investment blueprint based on what has changed or been learned over the last year and a half.
More than 30 EM experts representing nonprofits, foundations, regulators, seafood companies, and EM service providers were interviewed as a part of this project, and their perspectives have been invaluable in synthesizing the current state of EM and collating an updated set of recommendations for advancing the tool. These perspectives have been supplemented with a review of the EM literature. We hope the findings in this report will spur further conversations about the role of EM in improving fisheries management and delivering value to the seafood industry, and help build alignment within the fisheries stakeholder community around how best to advance this tool.
This analysis was commissioned by TNC and prepared in collaboration with CEA. CEA takes accountability for any errors or omissions in this report, and welcomes constructive feedback from readers by email: email@example.com.