eCatch: Promoting Dynamic Management in Marine Fisheries Through Technology

Friday, 13 February 2015: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room 210G (San Jose Convention Center)
Matt Merrifield, The Nature Conservancy, San Francisco, CA
eCatch is a tool developed by The Nature Conservancy that provides a simple way for fishermen to collect, map and share their fishing information in the California groundfish fishery. One difficult aspects of fisheries management is the collection of location data in a manner that allows for in-season adaptive management. We started by creating an web accessible database with a crude set of input forms and a map eventually simplifiying the input forms to focus on fisheries logbooks.  We subsequently build a mobile application that allows users to capture and submit logbook information at sea.  These data became much more critical to the management of overfished species (OFS) with the advent of a quota system in 2011.  We have used information on the locations of OFS catches to draft spatial management plans that seek to mitigate risk of more OFS encounters.  Additionally we have begun to explore the value of spatial fisheries data in sustainable supply chains, eco-labels, and certification as a means of providing more value cases for the capture of accurate spatial data.  This talk will cover these topics and our planned future work in other fisheries.