In the FCWC region, national and regional fisheries statistics and data collection efforts have culminated in the FCWC Data Centre, comprising the Fisheries Management System (FMS) and the FCWC Regional Database (RDB) established in 2019 through the technical cooperation project between the FCWC and FAO.
The FCWC Regional Data Centre currently maintains a database for fish catch and effort data from its Member States. Data on fish species, fishing effort and fishing gear per year from the artisanal fishery is available.
Since then, two Letters of Agreement (LOAs) were signed between the FCWC and the FAO-FIRMS Secretariat, under which the FCWC FMS and RDB were updated to comply with requisite international reporting standards for industrial and artisanal data for all FCWC Member States.
This has enabled a dynamic update of FIRMS inventories, making the FMS and RDB important resources for addressing gaps in knowledge, by generating scientific knowledge for science-based decision-making in fisheries management. National focal points scrutinize entries at regular intervals to resolve discrepancies and harmonize data fields/units, building consistency and ensuring the accuracy of the data. In early 2022, the FAO published 38 factsheets (25 artisanal, 13 semi-industrial/industrial data), as an output of the LOA.