Fisheries Information System Program
The Fisheries Information System program is a state-regional-federal partnership supporting sound, science-based fisheries management. We do so by fostering collaboration and funding innovative projects to improve the quality of fisheries-dependent data.
Bristol Bay Tender Vessel
An integral part of FIS is our Professional Specialty Groups—cross-disciplinary teams that focus
on addressing specific fishery-dependent data challenges. These groups foster communications across regions to develop innovative solutions, reduce duplication of efforts, and enhance efficiency. Currently, these groups are addressing issues related to electronic technologies, highly migratory species, software coding, design, and development, and quality management and continuous improvement.
Funding Innovative Projects
Our annual competitive request for proposals supports initiatives that improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of fisheries-dependent data collection and management. By coordinating the funding of regional priorities, FIS promotes the sharing of intellectual and financial resources, while helping to reduce redundancy and duplication of efforts. Since 2013, we have supported more than 200 projects across all regions in the areas of:
- Electronic reporting and monitoring development and implementation.
- Data improvements, modernization, and integration.
- Fisheries Information Network development.
- Quality management and continuous improvement.
These projects are funded in collaboration with the National Observer Program's Electronic Technologies program and the National Catch Share Program. Our request for proposal guidance document provides detailed information about the proposal submission and selection process, and our NOAA Library seminar presentation includes tips for preparing a strong proposal.
Supporting the Data Lifecycle
FIS supports work that improves and enhances each step of the fisheries-dependent data lifecycle through Professional Specialty Group initiatives as well as projects funded via the competitive request for proposal process.
Meeting Regional Priorities
FIS priorities are set by a Program Management Team whose members represent a broad cross-section of state, regional, and federal partners. This shared governance structure ensures FIS is meeting inherently regional fisheries-dependent data needs while promoting collaboration and information-sharing across geographic boundaries and professional disciplines.
FIS Case Studies
Fisheries monitoring and reporting programs have historically relied upon independent fishery observers, real-time vessel position reporting with vessel monitoring systems, fish landings reports, and self-reported vessel paper logbooks for most fishery-dependent data collection. Constraining budgets and increasing demands for data are driving the need to evaluate and improve cost-effectiveness and economies of scale. In the Pacific Islands, FIS has supported a recent study of electronic monitoring involving Hawaii shallow-set and deep-set longline fisheries, which shows promising results for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of data collection.
The region-wide stock assessment process coordinated by NOAA Fisheries’ Southeast Fisheries Science Center brings together an enormous amount of data from a wide range of stakeholders. As part of an overall goal to increase the number of stock assessments and the quality of scientific advice, the data and assessments team at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center worked with the Quality Management and Continuous Improvement Professional Specialty Group to conduct a Value Stream Mapping workshop with team members and data customers to identify pain points and prioritize solutions.
NOAA is one of the agencies charged with managing the $8.1 billion settlement to restore the ecological impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. When the team leading Deepwater Horizon restoration efforts out of NOAA Fisheries decided to develop a program-level strategic plan, they turned to the Fisheries Information System Program’s Quality Management and Continuous Improvement Professional Specialty Group.
The responsible management of highly migratory species requires cooperation across state, regional, and international boundaries, with tournament data playing a key role in many aspects of management. A recent collaboration among NOAA Fisheries’ Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Management Division, the Southeast Fisheries Science Center, and the Fisheries Information System program is improving the registration and reporting process for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species tournaments, making the system more effective and efficient for tournament operators and scientists alike.
The fisheries permitting process is complex, encompassing applications, tracking, compliance, printing and mailing certificates and form letters, renewals, and payment processing. Effective permit management is critical to supporting the recreational and commercial fishing industries, as well as sustainable science and management. Nowhere are these demands more acute than in the Pacific Islands Regional Office Permits Program, which turned to the FIS Quality Management and Continuous Improvement Professional Specialty Group to identify a workable strategy to migrate permitting operations to the National Permit System, while ensuring continuity of service and the integrity of legacy data.