From the abstract:
A healthy fishing industry requires real-time, adaptive, and flexible management to overcome increasing human and ecological threats. Electronic technologies (ET) are at the center of present-day discussions for how to enable robust fisheries management in the face of change. Looking at the United States as a case study, this work identifies the practice of centering regulation around defined, discrete classes of technology (e.g., electronic monitoring (EM), electronic reporting (ER), vessel monitoring systems (VMS), etc.) as a critically unaddressed challenge that limits the technologies’ usefulness and ability to evolve fluidly. We argue that shifting towards a regulatory strategy that focuses on purpose and performance rather than specific technical attributes would provide more space for technology to evolve and enable more efficient fisheries management.
Drawing on insights gathered from > 40 subject matter expert (SME) interviews from across a wide range of stakeholder perspectives and diverse geographies as well as examples from within fisheries globally and other U.S. agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), we highlight opportunities for clear performance requirements and data standards to provide appropriate system-wide oversight while also allowing sufficient regional flexibility to tailor technology and programs to local needs. This work synthesizes a set of recommendations for a forward-looking national level fisheries policy framework that integrates ET in an efficient and adaptable manner. Building on existing recommendations, we also highlight key topics for stakeholder communities to address during the process of designing an innovation-friendly policy framework to meet science, management, enforcement, and business needs.