TAKING STOCK: FiTI initiates its online transparency assessment of fisheries management information for the United States

TAKING STOCK: FiTI initiates its online transparency assessment of fisheries management information for the United States

The Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) announced today the start of its assessment of publicly available marine fisheries information in the United States of America, as part of its global efforts to deepen public understanding of how different governments around the world approach transparency in fisheries management.

With one of the world’s largest exclusive economic zones, covering a total size of approximately 11,351,000 km2, the United States is the latest country to undergo such a TAKING STOCK assessment.

TAKING STOCK assessments examine the level of information that national authorities publish on government websites regarding the country’s marine fisheries sector. Beyond simply considering if information is available online, assessments also look at the quality of government information, considering whether it is up to date and easy for people to find. Assessments also document ‘good transparency practices’: instances where governments demonstrate innovative ways of communicating information and stimulating public debates from which other countries can draw inspiration.

The United States is known to have developed a robust fisheries governance system which has led to major progress toward sustainable fisheries across its diverse marine ecosystems. Through the TAKING STOCK assessment, the FiTI will support the US government to better understand the information that they have made publicly available and where enhancement opportunities exist to ensure continued progress towards the sustainable management of the sector.

The TAKING STOCK assessment will be conducted by the FiTI International Secretariat, performing a desk research of the country’s marine fisheries sector in line with the 12 thematic areas of the FiTI Standard, the only internationally-recognised framework defining what fisheries management information governments should publish online.

These thematic areas are broken down into 38 individual transparency elements – ranging from the publication of fisheries laws, policies, management plans and national strategies to respond to illegal fishing, to the latest information on fish catches, employment data, government revenues in the sector, fisheries subsidies and beneficial ownership. 

“After the release of the first assessment results for Bangladesh and Peru, we are excited to start our assessment on the United States. These country assessments seek to provide in-depth analyses of transparency in marine fisheries management and a valuable source of information not only for national authorities, but other stakeholders such as journalists, researchers, parliamentarians, as well as the millions of people engaged in fisheries in the United States and around the world” said Mr Sven Biermann, Executive Director of the FiTI. He stated further that “we are conducting the assessment in different countries and the TAKING STOCK programme is already becoming a reference point for knowledge sharing and understanding the status quo in countries regarding access to basic fisheries information.”

The findings from the TAKING STOCK assessment for United States will be published in an assessment report in the second half of 2022.

The TAKING STOCK assessment for the United States is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.