Fisheries Information System Program
With increasing pressure on our oceans, there is a constant need for data that supports sound science and effective stewardship of our living marine resources. The Fisheries Information System program meets this need by working collaboratively with partners at the federal, regional, and state levels to ensure every stakeholder can easily access comprehensive, high-quality, timely fisheries information.
Bristol Bay Tender Vessel
What We Do
The Fisheries Information System program launched in 2003 to improve the nation’s ability to effectively manage our living marine resources, while still preserving regional fishery science and management autonomy.
We work collaboratively through partnerships to improve access to comprehensive, high-quality, timely fisheries information by investing in three broad areas:
- Data gaps and data quality;
- Efficient technology and data integration;
- Effective coordination and communication in the design, collection, and uses of data
Partnerships and Collaboration
Check out some of the ways we work to foster collaboration.
Building Communities of Expertise
Our Professional Specialty Groups convene experts from multiple disciplines in order to address a specific need or issue that is identified by the program management team, The PSGs are composed of representatives from NOAA Fisheries headquarters, regional offices, science centers, Fisheries Information Networks and state partners. There are currently four PSGs in operation: Data Access and Dissemination, Electronic Reporting, Highly Migratory Species, and Quality Management and Continuous Improvement.
Find out more about how we develop Professional Specialty Groups.
Supporting Innovative Projects
Check out our database of proposals and reports from all of the projects we've supported and learn more about the annual FIS Request for Proposal process.
Real-World Solutions: Success Stories
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.
Take a look at how we support the development of consolidated and automated systems to improve data entry, management, and analysis.
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 severe than in the Pacific Islands Regional Office Permits Program, which turned to our Quality Management and Continuous Improvement PSG 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.
Check out how we are working to make fishery permit processing more efficient and cost-effective.
The biological and catch composition data gathered by independent observers on fishing vessels play a critical role in stock assessments and fisheries management decision-making. However, on some vessels—like many North Pacific groundfish and Pacific halibut fisheries vessels—space for human observers is limited and safety is a concern. Although using electronic monitoring technology can alleviate safety and space concerns, it often requires a costly, time-consuming manual review of video and still image data. Our collaboration with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center is making progress in overcoming these hurdles.
Learn more about how we are leveraging electronic monitoring technologies to improve ship safety as well as data collection and accuracy in North Pacific fisheries.