In September 2013, NOAA Fisheries initiated the Northeast Federal Fishery Dependent Data Visioning Project, a collaborative effort to improve fishery-dependent data quality, usefulness, timeliness, and delivery. To better understand the needs of the fishing industry, dealers, fishery managers, and other key stakeholders, NOAA Fisheries, GMRI, and the School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) are working on a multi-phased process to holistically review fishery dependent data collection methods and systems across New England and the Mid-Atlantic regions.
Phase 1 of this work has focused on cataloguing current data needs and uses, data system strengths and weaknesses, and perceptions of what an ideal data system would look like for individuals generating and using fishery dependent data. As part of this process, NOAA fisheries staff have focused on interviewing state and federal agency staff, as well as staff from management councils, state-federal data management programs, and non-governmental organizations. To date, NOAA project leads Doug Christel (Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office) and Holly McBride (Northeast Fishery Science Center) have completed interviews with 17 NOAA Fisheries offices and branches, 13 state agencies, the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program, the Gulf States Fisheries Information Network (GulfFIN), and several non-governmental organizations. Preliminary analysis of responses from the 118 individuals that have been interviewed by NOAA Fisheries staff highlight the need to further pursue electronic reporting, improve automatic data auditing, integrate existing data systems, standardize data formats and codes, and increase access to and awareness of existing data systems and outputs.
Staff from GMRI and SMAST, along with Daniel Salerno and Peter Moore, completed interviews with harvesters, dealers, and other industry groups throughout the Greater Atlantic Region. The project team is focused on ensuring input for all Greater Atlantic fisheries, and over 50 targeted interviews have been completed.
Preliminary analysis of responses from the industry interviews suggest a keen interest in continued participation from fishing industry members in visioning a holistic data collection system for the Greater Atlantic region. Interviews will continue into April, and individuals who are interested in participating are encouraged to contact members of the project team directly, or complete the questions online at the project website. Responses and recommendations from these efforts will be used to develop a map of fishery dependent data flows, inform workshop discussion, and be included in a report to NOAA leadership in September.
The Fishery Dependent Data Visioning workshop will be held in New Bedford, Massachusetts on June 30th and July 1st.
For more information, visit the workshop page.