A Technological Revolution in Montserrats Fisheries Management and Governance: Integrating Vessel Movement and Fisheries Data for Marine Management, Spatial Planning, and Valuing Ecosystem Goods and Services
AuthorsPonteen, A.R.,T. Rossiter, D. Edwards, and T. Weighell Download PDF Open PDF in Browser
Knowledge of spatial distribution and intensity of fishing related activities in waters under national jurisdiction for decades have been poorly understood by national fisheries authority. A Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) funded program in partnership with the Government of Montserrat makes way for the installation of SuccorfishM2M low-cost Inshore Vessel Monitoring System (I-VMS) utilizing mobile phone technology on seven (7) open deck fishing vessels < 12 meters in length. Data collected from this system is projected to provide managers and scientists with accurate and real-time information required to improve fisheries management and governance. The use of this state-of-the-art technology will also assist the fishers and policy makers manage human activities within the fishery in a sustainable and responsible way. IVMS is being adopted in Montserrat as a critical Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) tool for the real-time monitor of fishing vessel activities and detecting any infringement with new and updated fisheries regulation. The project offers support to a Territory to Territory partnership between the Government of Montserrat and the Falkland Islands Government (SAERI), in developing the most appropriate data infrastructure to support marine spatial planning through the analysis of pre-existing and new accurate real time fisheries data. The outcomes delivered using this technology will inform sustainable access to fisheries policy areas, realize the development and implementation of new ocean related policies, a Marine Spatial Plan (MSP), MCS and ecosystems approach to fisheries management and govern-ance. All these benefits will be achieved via a modest capital cost of fit for purpose technology and the engagement of the fishing communities who will buy into the objectives and benefit from the safety and security features that the IVMS technology brings.