TAKING STOCK: FiTI initiates its online transparency assessment of fisheries management information for Panama

TAKING STOCK: FiTI initiates its online transparency assessment of fisheries management information for Panama

As part of its global efforts to deepen public understanding of how different governments around the world approach transparency in fisheries management, the FiTI announced today the start of its assessment of publicly available marine fisheries information in Panama.

Serving as a bridge between the Pacific and the Atlantic ocean, and with an exclusive economic zone of approximately 274,600 km2, Panama is the fifth country in the Americas to undergo such a TAKING STOCK assessment (after Peru, Mexico, Ecuador and the United States).

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.

Through the TAKING STOCK assessment, the FiTI will support the Panamanian 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 39 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. 

It is expected that the findings from this TAKING STOCK assessment will be published during the Our Ocean Conference in Panama on 2-3 March, 2023.

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