Today NOAA released a new report with a series of recommendations for the agency to modernize its data and information systems. NOAA has five key science and technology focus areas. The recommendations in the report will guide transformative advancements in the quality and timeliness of the products and services across our mission areas.
We have strategies in the fields of:
- Unmanned systems
- Artificial intelligence
- Cloud computing
- ‘Omics (the use of advanced methods to analyze material such as DNA, RNA, or proteins)
To help expand our ability to implement those strategies, NOAA Fisheries will build off our Fisheries Information Management Modernization workshop. The workshop identified actions to modernize the data and information systems of NOAA Fisheries, the Fishery Information Networks, and other partners that provide, process, and use fisheries data. This workshop was a successful response to the recommendations of the Net Gains Alliance, a global initiative that is working to spur modernization of fisheries information systems.
The full workshop report, including a series of recommendations for the agency to launch this modernization, is now posted online. Modernized information workflows yield more timely and accurate science and data products. This will help us better manage ocean resources. We now have an actionable plan to address recommendations to the agency, covering everything from data governance to policy, from personnel to technology.
I strongly agree with the workshop participants—data is one of our most important assets and requires adequate infrastructure, technology, staffing, and governance to support it. I also agree that partnerships have been, and will continue to be, essential to successful fisheries management. NOAA Fisheries must continue to cooperate and collaborate with our partners to allow for efficient and cost-effective allocation and use of information management resources.
I am committed to continuing our collaborative efforts on improving NOAA Fisheries data and information management systems upon which fishery managers around the country depend. We will work to ensure clear communication on the challenges we encounter and the solutions we develop as we embark on this undertaking. I know this will not be a quick or easy process. I’m confident that the outcome will benefit not just the users of the data, but also the ocean resources we are managing.
I would like to thank all of the workshop organizers and participants and look forward to our next implementation steps.
Dr. Cisco Werner
Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor for NOAA Fisheries