Uncovering Blue Technology: An Inventory and Analysis of Technologies Addressing Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing

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Overfishing disproportionately impacts the public health and economies of coastal developing nations (Golden et al. 2016). Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing drives overfishing by undermining the ability of fishery managers to set and enforce harvest quotas and other management strategies (Sumaila et al. 2020). A variety of technological solutions – from satellite monitoring of fishing vessels to transparency tools facilitating consumption of legal catch – have been proposed as potential solutions to IUU fishing. Despite growing investment in these tools, no comprehensive inventory and analysis of these solutions exists, undermining collaboration in technological development, use of promising tools, and optimization of global funding. This project employed a systematic review of news media articles and seafood technology databases to catalog 168 anti-IUU technologies – the most comprehensive inventory of these technologies to date. Within these 168 technologies, the most commonly observed types of technologies were tools which integrate and synthesize data to support manager decision-making (Data Synthesis), tools which facilitate the reporting of catch (Electronic Catch Reporting), and tools which track vessel locations (VMS). The most frequently discussed parent organization within the news media corpus was Global Fishing Watch, and the species group to which technologies were most frequently applied was Tuna. Application location of these technologies covered the globe with no clear geospatial pattern while headquarters were concentrated in Europe and North America. We hypothesize that these results suggest a) a lack of collaboration in this space, b) the role of regulatory compliance and technology mode in driving technology development, c) the impact of demand by wealthy consumers on technology application and d) the export of anti-IUU technologies from Europe and North America to nations around the globe. We hope that this inventory provides insight and support to the development and application of technologies addressing IUU fishing.





Cipparone, Hugh (2023). Uncovering Blue Technology: An Inventory and Analysis of Technologies Addressing Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27210.

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