||Fisheries are an important economic engine for the United States. Laws, regulations,
and international agreements keep this engine running sustainably. Compliance with
these laws is vital to their success and the sustainability of the country’s living
marine resources. The U.S. Coast Guard is the nation’s primary at-sea enforcement
authority for living marine resources laws and regulations. The Coast Guard is challenged
with effectively and efficiently employing its limited resources to achieve the highest
possible level of compliance with U.S. and international fisheries laws. Geospatial
analysis provides the Coast Guard with a low cost way of analyzing fisheries and current
enforcement strategies to correct shortfalls, recognize enforcement gaps, and effectively
plan future operations. Through the use of spatial analysis, the Coast Guard can match
enforcement with temporal, spatial, and sector-based patterns in fishing effort to
achieve more comprehensive and effective compliance with federal fisheries regulations.
This study demonstrates possible methods of improving enforcement in two fisheries:
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species and Gulf of Alaska Sablefish. I compare historical
enforcement strategies with fishing effort information to evaluate spatial and temporal
alignment. I also make recommendations for improving enforcement in these fisheries.
I then discuss the development of a spatial analysis tool for the Alaskan multi-species
groundfish fishery to show some possible solutions to improving enforcement in these
fisheries. Finally, I make overall recommendations for improving the effectiveness
and efficiency of the Coast Guard’s enforcement of federally permitted fisheries.