FishTrax and Electronic Fishery Information Systems: The Next Revolution in Fishery Management and Economics of Fishery Information Systems: A Case Study of Fish Trax Public Deposited

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  • Two major institutional revolutions are impacting fisheries around the globe -- sustainability and property rights. The sustainability revolution ensures that fisheries and supporting ecosystems are conserved so that future generations can access healthy fishery resources. The second revolution creates institutions in the form of economic incentives and privileges that are necessary for achieving sustainability. But a third less heralded fishery revolution is gaining recognition for its role in supporting the first two revolutions‚ (near) real time information systems. Modern information technologies including hardware, software, and communication infrastructure are being designed and employed to collect, share, and transform real time data into near real time knowledge vital for sustaining fisheries and improving economic benefits. These electronic information systems include logbooks, fish tickets, observer and vessel monitoring systems, catch and quota reporting, research and monitoring, and market traceability. They are being employed by managers, industries, fleets, and fishermen to manage harvests and reduce bycatch and discards, increase vessel performance, track environmental conditions, improve stock assessments, coordinate fleet behavior, and increase market benefits. However, there are complex economic, institutional, technological, and management challenges in developing and designing efficient systems. This paper summarizes some of these challenges, provides alternative approaches for designing integrated information systems, and highlights their costs and benefits. A newly designed electronic fish information system named Fish Trax is used to explore the challenges and opportunities. The paper concludes by discussing the changes needed in fishery policy and management to create incentives that foster an efficient information revolution.
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  • Sylvia, G. FishTrax and Electronic Fishery Information Systems: The Next Revolution in Fishery Management and Economics of Fishery Information Systems: A Case Study of Fish Trax. In: Visible Possibilities: The Economics of Sustainable Fisheries, Aquaculture and Seafood Trade: Proceedings of the Sixteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 16-20, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Edited by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2012.
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