19 September 2005

Accessing, sharing and disseminating fisheries information

Recent FAO documents give an impressive insight into the sources and complexity of fisheries information. The 2005 report by Janet Webster and Jean Collins gives an overview of information needs, systems, services and challenges associated with the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The authors conclude the report by proposing several strategies to increase the information capacity of fisheries institutions, enabling them to take advantage of technological developments for accessing and disseminating information cost-effectively over the long term.

This report draws heavily on papers and discussions at a Regional Workshop on Networking for Improved Access to Fisheries and Aquaculture Information in Africa from November 2003. The report contains information on several national institutions, presents 4 country case studies, and elaborates on regional and international collaboration mechanisms. Some of the main topics addressed included: mapping fisheries information resources in Africa, timely document delivery, a union database of fisheries and aquaculture serial holdings in Africa, accessing full-text online journals, disseminating African fisheries and aquaculture publications, facilitating networking among fisheries information centres, and using standards to facilitate information exchange.

Note: FAO hosts an online Directory of Fisheries and Aquaculture Information Resources in Africa as well as an international directory of fisheries, aquaculture and related Internet sites. The fisheries information community meets regularly under the aegis of IAMSLIC.


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