Fishing Vessel Ocean Observing Network

The steering group for oceanographic observation in collaboration with fisheries.

Fishing vessels can host and deploy an assortment of oceanographic instrumentation; and, the fact that many fishing gear types go down and up through the water column presents a unique subsurface data collection opportunity. This opportunity can complement existing ocean observing networks by enabling the cost-effective collection of vast amounts of subsurface ocean information in data-sparse regions. There is an emerging global network of fishing vessels participating in collaborative efforts to collect oceanographic data accelerated by innovations in the enabling technologies. While there are clear opportunities that arise from partnering with fishing vessels, there are also challenges ranging from geographic and cultural differences in fleets, fishing methods and practices, data processing and management for heterogeneous data, and long term engagement of the fishers. To advance fishing vessel-based ocean observation on a global scale, a new Fishing Vessel Ocean Observing Network (FVON) is forming to maximize the data value, establish best practices, and facilitate observation uptake. FVON’s ultimate goal is to foster collaborative fishing vessel-based observations, democratize ocean observation, improve ocean predictions and forecasts, promote sustainable fishing, and power the data-driven new blue economy