“Each component of electronic monitoring offers different opportunities to acquire better data, provide public assurance or improve the performance of our fisheries.”
Current discussions around electronic monitoring involve three separate components: electronic reporting of data, geo-location of vessels, and cameras on vessels. Many inshore vessels have one or more of these components already in place (see SNA1 and Hawke Bay trials).
Each component of electronic monitoring offers different opportunities to acquire better data, provide public assurance or improve the performance of our fisheries. Fisheries Inshore New Zealand considers that to realise these benefits, a clear rationale and careful cost benefit analyses are required as a precursor to broader implementation.
While we support the general concept of electronic monitoring, that being the acquisition of better information to improve fisheries management, the following matters need to be addressed first to focus better on its development and efficacy:
- specific objectives for the deployment of electronic monitoring, linked to management objectives;
- a clear definition of the information deficiencies, fish stock by fish stock;
- consideration of wider fisheries management and policy settings that will influence information requirements and direct subsequent management based on better information;
- the particular outputs sought and the feasibility of obtaining those in various fisheries;
- an evaluation of the options available to obtain the required information;
- a detailed cost-benefit analyses of the options available to collect the required data; and
- an analysis of risks.
Central to this general position is that electronic monitoring is simply one of a number of available tools to assist better fisheries management. It is not a single mechanism, it is a collection of three components that may be implemented, separately or collectively, depending on the information needs and its capacity to acquire that information.
The need for each component of electronic monitoring, and its value to fisheries management, requires a wider understanding of the information requirements and management regime for specific fisheries. For more detail, see our submission on MPI’s Future of our Fisheries.