Marine fisheries data collection, reporting, analysis and management are inherently regional functions. Each region, science center, Fisheries Information Network (FIN), council, commission and state—and each fishery they manage—has unique data needs and management challenges. There will never be a “one size fits all” approach to meeting data needs.
However, as demand grows for information that is more timely, accurate, interconnected, easily accessible, and regionally comparable, so grows the need for cross-regional strategies to capture and share best practices, spark innovation, integrate information, and facilitate coordinated priority-setting.
That’s where the Fisheries Information System (FIS) comes in. The program fosters partnerships that enable stakeholders to benefit from the findings of pilot projects and other studies, whether conducted in a nearby state or across the country. And these collaborations are helping to bridge knowledge gaps, improve information flow, and bring disparate parties together in a community of practice to meet common fisheries data needs.
How It Works
The FIS Program Management Team (PMT) sets budgetary and policy direction. Members include representatives from NOAA Headquarters, Regional Offices and Science Centers, and Fisheries Information Networks, or FINs. The PMT’s Core Business Team oversees FIS implementation, and day-to-day operation is managed by the Program Manager and Program Director.
Along with the PMT, FIS program participants include other NOAA offices and State and Territorial Marine Fisheries Science and Management Agencies. In addition, FINs play a critical role in the FIS program as the link to state and regional collection programs. FINs act both as key data contributors and as liaisons for identifying and working to meet state and regional data needs.
The FIS Professional Specialty Groups provide technical expertise and help guide priority setting in a specific research or program area. The PSGs are made up of subject matter experts drawn from NOAA and other partner agencies. More on their work may be found under Leveraging Knowledge.