Technoscience and the modernization of freshwater fisheries assessment and management
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEnvironmental Technology & Innovation. 2022, 28 . 10.1016/j.eti.2022.102865
Inland fisheries assessment and management are challenging given the inherent com- plexity of working in diverse habitats (e.g., rivers, lakes, wetlands) that are dynamic on organisms that are often cryptic and where fishers are often highly mobile. Yet, technoscience is offering new tools that have the potential to reimagine how inland fisheries are assessed and managed. So-called ‘‘technoscience’’ refers to instances in which science and technology unfurl together, offering novel ways of spurring and achieving meaningful change. This paper considers the role of technoscience and its potential for modernizing the assessment and management of inland fisheries. It first explores technoscience and its potential benefits, followed by presentation of a series of synopses that explore the application (both successes and challenges) of new tech- nologies such as environmental DNA (eDNA), genomics, electronic tags, drones, phone apps, iEcology, and artificial intelligence to assessment and management. The paper also considers the challenges and barriers that exist in adopting new technologies. The paper concludes with a provocative assessment of the potential of technoscience to reform and modernize inland fisheries assessment and management. Although these tools are increasingly being embraced, there is a lack of platforms for aggregating these data streams and providing managers with actionable information in a timely manner. The ideas presented here should serve as a catalyst for beginning to work collectively and collaboratively towards fisheries assessment and management systems that harness the power of technology and serve to modernize inland fisheries management. Such transformation is urgently needed given the dynamic nature of environmental change, the evolving threat matrix facing inland waters, and the complex behavior of fishers. Quite simply, a dynamic world demands dynamic fisheries management; technoscience has made that within reach.