( St. John’s, NL, 15 Oct. 2013,) The World Ocean Council (WOC) convened the “Smart Fishing Vessels” workshop here Sept. 29, to expand and improve ocean and atmospheric data collection by fishing vessels. The report is available online here.

The workshop was organized by WOC and the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation, and held in conjunction with the World Seafood Congress (St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, 30 Sep–3 Oct, 2013).

The workshop attracted 32 participants from: the fishing industry, marine technology and instrumentation, IT/communications, national and international data collection organizations, government officials, spatial data experts, existing voluntary observation programs, and scientific/research organizations.

The workshop provided insight in a case study of the FishSmart Program under development by the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (see http://www.ccfi.ca) and the perspectives of a large panel of data users and data providers on the use of fishing vessels as platforms for environmental and atmospheric data collection. Additionally, all participants took part in a series of breakout sessions designed to generate specific and useful input into components of a Smart Fishing Vessel program such as stakeholder engagement, opportunities and constraints, logical pairings of industry data collectors, decision support tools and quality assurance of data.

The “Smart Fishing Vessels” workshop builds on the WOC “Smart Ocean/Smart Industries” global program to facilitate, coordinate and scale-up data collection and sharing by ocean industries. The workshop was facilitated by Leslie-Ann McGee of WOC and Bob Verge from CCFI. The diverse industry participation included three WOC member organizations participating in the workshop (Louisbourg Seafoods, ESRI and OLRAC SPS).

The WOC, CCFI and other WOC Members partners will continue efforts to foster use of fishing vessels to collect data, as part of the broader WOC “Smart Ocean/Smart Industries” program. Interested companies and other parties are encouraged to contact the WOC to get involved.

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About the World Ocean Council (WOC)

The WOC is the only international, cross-sectoral alliance for private sector leadership and collaboration in “Corporate Ocean Responsibility”. Companies and associations worldwide are distinguishing themselves as leaders in ocean sustainability, stewardship and science by joining the WOC. Members to date include over 70 leadership organizations from a wide range of ocean industries: oil and gas, shipping, seafood, fisheries, aquaculture, mining, renewable energy, ocean technology, maritime law, marine environmental services and other areas. The WOC News Release is received by over 21,000 ocean industry stakeholders around the world.

Contact: Paul Holthus, Executive Director Phone: +1 (808) 277-9008; email: paul.holthus@oceancouncil.org Web: www.oceancouncil.org