Information and Communication Technologies: What role in achieving sustainable fisheries in the ATLAFCO zone?
The world situation of fishery resources is deteriorating from year to year. According to FAO, the proportion of fish stocks exploited at a biologically sustainable level increased from 90% in 1974 to 66.9% in 2015, while stocks exploited at a biologically unsustainable level increased by 10% in 1974 to 33% 2015.
This development is the result of many decades of uncontrolled exploitation of the apparently inexhaustible fisheries resources, unethical fishing practices and degradation of the marine environment. With advances in technology and increasing coastal population, this trend is not about to be defeated if additional efforts are not undertaken for effective implementation of the measures taken by the international community to address them.
The overfishing has obviously costs as well economic, social and environmental. Interrupting this process and giving stocks time to regenerate would increase long-term returns for this sector. Such action is needed to stabilize both fishery resources and the fisheries sector. On the other hand, it is essential to think about alternative solutions and measures taking into account all the dimensions (environmental, socio-economic, political, cultural ...) in order to find the durable and effective solution.
In this context, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) could be a powerful lever to accelerate progress in achieving sustainable fisheries. They are today a great hope to radically end the over-exploitation of fish stocks or at least to limit their pace and to slow down the deterioration of the marine environment.
Thus, the advent of ICTs would be able to introduce into fisheries management tools whose application would ensure the sustainable exploitation of marine resources and the marine environment.
The question we will be addressing during our meeting is Information and Communication Technologies: Can they, and should they, play a role, and which, both for the safeguarding of the fish heritage, its protection and even its valuation? In other words, do new technologies make it possible to consider the problem of the scarcity of fisheries resources differently? Or how could ICTs contribute to the international community's efforts to sustain fish stocks?
Before addressing this issue and in order to fully understand the context of the use of ICT in the marine sector, it seems important to us :
- On the one hand to review the main threats facing marine resources in general and fisheries in particular and which seriously jeopardize their sustainability
- On the other hand, to clarify the scope and impact of the main uses / applications of ICT tools in the management of marine resources in order to stop their degradation and ensure its sustainability.
Then it will be necessary
- To clarify the problem of ICTs in the dynamics of fisheries management and related activities, particularly in the context of countries with a level of development comparable to those of the ATLAFCO zone.
Finally, we will try
- To propose ways for an adequate implementation of the applications that can effectively contribute to the sustainability of marine resources in the Region.