Pacific Community (SPC) researchers have been trialling electronic reporting with observers and captains of fishing vessels. The research is part of OFMP2.
Electronic reporting using mobile devices is a more efficient way of recording and reporting data than using paper forms. SPC’s trainer in data analysis, Andrew Hunt, talks about the advantages of electronic reporting. He says that people have instant access to data, that it helps combat illegal fishing and misreporting of catch, and reduces the number of failures in data collection (41 secs).
Baseline research on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing
A 2017 report prepared for the FFA describes the status of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. The report, Baseline study and performance indicators for the Pacific Islands Oceanic Fisheries Management Program 2, notes that:
- There has been much effort to combat IUU fishing at national, sub-regional and regional levels. It seems to have been effective in achieving its goal, and has contributed to relatively low estimates of IUU fishing in some categories.
- A study indicates that much uncertainty still exists about IUU fishing in some categories. More work is needed to offer stronger incentives for voluntary compliance, to reinforce deterrents to non-compliance, and to improve monitoring through the supply chain.
- FFA members are considering the implications of the study for their operations.
- To gain access to the European Union market, the EU requires only that products are caught legally by the flag state. If the European Commission believes that a country does not meet EU regulations, it discusses the matter with the country and issues a caution. The country is expected to improve its legal and management frameworks to address IUU fishing. Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu have all been issued with cautions. They are working to address gaps.