One-touch reporting: Whether it is monitoring data, reports from dealers, information from fishing vessels, or data shared by private anglers, fishermen are able to enter data once and send it to all the appropriate authorities with one touch. Standardized data formats, unique trip identifiers, and well-designed information management systems allow fishermen to seamlessly meet the needs of states, NMFS, and regional data aggregators. Data validation and auto-filled fields from electronic sensors (such as weights from dealer scales, and vessel locations from AIS, VMS or other GPS devises) help improve accuracy, reduce data entry time, and speed up reporting.
Verifiable real-time data: As fisheries information is captured, it is quickly validated and integrated into data that informs management decisions. Managers, recreational anglers and commercial operators all know in close to real time how much of their quota has been fished and how much remains. Smart management decisions to prevent overfishing, increase access and maximize economic gains can be made with confidence.
Increased data access: Industry is able to keep copies of their electronic data, just as they keep carbon copies from today’s paper systems. They can access and view their data from NMFS after it has been submitted, allowing fishermen to be more effective managers of their businesses and better stewards of the resource. Industry co-ops that pool their data to avoid bycatch hotspots no longer need to build shadow systems reliant on access to NMFS data that are spotty and inconsistent. Rather, system innovations allow businesses to both submit and extract data, including roll-ups of industry activity on a fleet or sector basis. Better data organization makes it easier for NMFS to protect data that are truly confidential, which, in turn, makes it easier and faster for NMFS and the regional Fishery Information Networks to release reports to Councils and the public. Annual and in-season regulations are digital and searchable, allowing any private angler or industry vessel to stay on top of the rules.
Technology that performs and is widely available: A shift to performance-based standards has enabled service providers to design more effective electronic tools. NMFS and the states have specified the level of performance they require from e-tickets, logbooks, and other technologies, and ceased prescribing system details in regulations or RFPs. NMFS has laid out a blueprint and minimum standards to make data systems work, giving developers the flexibility to innovate and design tools that meet the different needs and use cases of individual sectors and fisheries. Systems work both off and online, and there is always a free or affordable tool to collect the subset of required data.
Businesses and government reap efficiency dividends: NMFS is doing more with less, as many agency functions are streamlined as a result of improved fishery information systems. Industry is enjoying increased profitability as compliance costs are minimized, and opportunity costs resulting from such causes as management uncertainty buffers and short and inflexible fishing seasons are reduced
Organizational effectiveness: Clear roles and accountability have been defined across jurisdictions for collecting, managing and disseminating information to meet management objectives. Frequent communication supports trust and collaboration. Well-defined guidelines and procedures for public-private partnerships help leverage and extend the human expertise and financial resources of management agencies.