Fellows in the News
Posted by Lauren Hertel on Wednesday, February 15 2017

Approximately 95 percent of global fishing is conducted in small-scale boats, often unequipped with AIS (Automated Identification System) technology. As a result, most small-scale fishing activity goes untracked. Transparency in fishing behavior provides both benefits to the environment and economic advantages for fishermen and communities that depend on fish resources.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), founding Co-Chair of the Senate Oceans Caucus and Ranking Member on the Senate Fisheries Subcommitte, and Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA), a member of the House Oceans Caucus, made introductory remarks, noting the importance of public-private partnerships to improve access to fishing markets and decrease harmful fishing practices.

Dr. Melissa Garren, Chief Scientific Officer for Pelagic Data Systems, explained how this new technology, developed by her company, provides a much more detailed account of fishing activity, tracking data on fleet activity, duration of fishing, temperature of stored fish, and catch methods. Dr. Garren noted the urgency of increased transparency in the fishing industry to mitigate the 80 percent of global fish stocks currently being over-fished or fully exploited. This detailed data is important for assessing the legality of fishing methods, efficacy of management efforts, and adherence to fishermen labor laws.

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