World Ocean Council Panel to Explore How to Expand Fishing Industry Efforts to Gather Ocean, Weather, and Climate Data

World Ocean CouncilSenior fishing industry representatives and scientists will focus on the role of the fishing industry in collecting ocean, weather and climate data, and how to scale up these efforts, at a World Ocean Council (WOC) panel during the Seafood Summit (Hong Kong, 5-9 September).

The fishing industry can play a significant role in collecting data that: a) contributes to describing the status, trends and variability of ocean, weather and atmosphere conditions and b) improves the understanding, modeling and forecasting of ocean ecosystems and resources.

Lori Kennedy, co-owner/cofounder of Louisbourg Seafoods, said, “Fishers like to be included in data collection programs and have the potential to gather information in areas not frequented by other ocean users. Increased data can be used to improve safety at sea and the responsible use and management of ocean resources.”

“The panel will consider the ocean industry data gathering experience to date, constraints and opportunities for expanding the use of fishing vessels, and how the fishing industry can learn from and collaborate with other ocean industries in collecting ocean and atmospheric information”, noted Paul Holthus, WOC Executive Director.

The fishing industry panel is part of the WOC “Smart Ocean/Smart Industries” initiative to facilitate, scale up and coordinate data collection by ocean users, e.g. fisheries, shipping, oil/gas, offshore renewables. The initiative is working to develop efficient, cost effective data gathering by ocean industries that builds on existing efforts, creates economies of scale and is integrated into national and international ocean observing and science programs.

Improved and expanded information from industry vessels and platforms will contribute to improved modeling of weather, ocean conditions and climate change and will support safer more responsible use of ocean space and resources – with clear benefits for business, society, science, and governments.

[Source: World Ocean Council (WOC) news release]