- SAFET Session #2 -

What Has Your Data Done for You Lately? Getting the Most from Integrated Fisheries Technologies in a Changing World

Nov 12, 2020, 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM PST

Data is driving innovation. It’s upending industries and realigning value chains, including in the fisheries space. Integrating different types of data from electronic monitoring and reporting platforms, satellites, autonomous underwater vehicles, low-cost sensors and other tools could open new doors for greater efficiency, better management and sustainability. For example, researchers, managers, fishermen and NGOs around the world have developed tools and approaches to use near real-time data for precision fishing—or to sustainably catch only target stocks and protect often imperiled species and vulnerable wildlife. Advances in big data analytics, AI and mobile technologies are a key part of this ocean data revolution by enabling new ways of understanding and sharing information. And in addition to sustainability, these emerging technology platforms hold promise in a range of other applications including optimizing business operations or providing market benefits like improved catch documentation and traceability.


As climate impacts on our oceans are scrambling the old rules about how many fish can be sustainably caught and where they live, technology is now more essential than ever. That’s why fishermen and managers are increasingly turning to data solutions to enable management that can respond to changing conditions on the water. 


This conference session will illuminate best practices and lessons learned from leading technology experts and practitioners on how to derive more value from ocean data and will include practical advice for creating tools and adaptive management approaches that rely on real-time data collected through cutting edge technologies. Key questions discussed will include:

  • What’s been the track record of these tools and approaches in the field?

  • What types of incentives are necessary to advance these tools and approaches?

  • How can these types of tools be developed in a way that is cost effective and well-integrated into management programs and information systems?

  • What are the best practices for collecting, analyzing and sharing data and developing related tools/platforms so that they are user friendly and meet the needs of fishermen?

  • How can these technologies and real-time data enable climate-ready fisheries?

- Session #2 Speakers

Sara Maxwell, Ph.D.

Dr. Maxwell is an Assistant Professor at University of Washington on the Bothell Campus. Her research focuses on the development of science-based solutions to sustainability issues in the ocean, with expertise in the application of spatial tools, such as satellite tracking and oceanographic modeling. Through her research, she uses these tools to understanding the distribution of large marine predators, how they interact with ocean processes, and how this knowledge can be applied to managing predator populations, human activities and ocean resources. Dr Maxwell's research goals are to: (1) conduct innovative science that is applied to conservation and management issues, (2) build knowledge and capacity in underdeveloped regions of the world, and (3) use research as tool for teaching and engaging students.

Steve Martell, Ph.D.

Dr. Martell has been involved in commercial fisheries since 1994 as a commercial salmon troller in the British Columbia Salmon fishery. It was during this experience that he realized that “information”, or “data", is the key to success in maintaining a sustainable and profitable fishery. Dr. Martell earned his PHD in 2002 under the supervision of Dr. Carl Walters at the University of British Columbia and later as a Professor at the same University for 10 years thereafter. In 2012, he joined the International Pacific Halibut Commission to develop alternative harvest and bycatch policies for Pacific halibut. In 2016, he partnered with Sea State Inc., a 3rd-party data provider that collects and disseminates data and information for the fishing industry. Sea State also provides data, monitors daily catch statistics at the haul level, implements business rules for fishing cooperatives to manage bycatch risk, and other analytical work for addressing Council related policy questions.

Transform Aqorau, Ph.D.

Dr Transform Aqorau, is the founding director and CEO of iTuna Intel and Pacific Catalyst which provide innovative policy and development support for fisheries, fisheries development and management. Dr. Aqorau is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement in Majuro, Marshall Islands and is a board member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). Dr. Aqorau previously worked for the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency as Legal Counsel and Deputy Director. He was also Legal Advisor to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and Legal Adviser and Deputy Secretary in the Solomon Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Elliott Hazen, Ph.D.

Dr. Hazen’s research interests span oceanography and fisheries ecology to ecosystem modeling, with a focus on predator-prey dynamics and climate ready management approaches for marine ecosystems. He is currently working as part of an interdisciplinary team to use species-habitat relationships to create novel management strategies for the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem, a key component of NOAA’s Integrated Ecosystem Assessments. Elliott received his master’s in fisheries science from the University of Washington and his doctorate in ecology from Duke University in North Carolina, followed by a National Research Council fellowship with NOAA’s Environmental Research Division in Pacific Grove, California. Elliott is currently a Research Ecologist with NOAA with an adjunct appointment in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an adjunct appointment at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station.

George Maynard, Ph.D.

George Maynard is the Research Director for the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance. Dr. Maynard has over 10 years of experience designing and executing applied fisheries research projects in collaboration with aquatic resource users including tournament anglers, First Nations, hydroelectric dam operators, and the commercial fishing industry. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Southern New England Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and on the Advisory Council of the Responsible Offshore Science Alliance.

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