Presentation on theme: "History, Problems and Recommended Solutions Fisheries Data Collection in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands Puerto Rico DNER USVI Department of Fish."— Presentation transcript:
History, Problems and Recommended Solutions Fisheries Data Collection in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands Puerto Rico DNER USVI Department of Fish and Wildlife Caribbean Fishery Management Council NMFS Southeast Regional Office NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center MRAG Americas, Inc.
40 years of Data Collection Puerto Rico data collection began in 1967; USVI data collection began in 1974 Commercial data only, some recreational data in PR beginning in 2000 Landings by individual species submitted on fish tickets in PR Landings by species groups submitted on CCRs in USVI Port agents collect some species information and lengths
Frustration Fishermen and port samplers have collected 40 years of data, but it has not been used for management Conventional stock assessments attempted 9 times since 2003, but were unsuccessful Existing data MIGHT be useful for assessing or setting catch limits for only a few stocks Fishermen and managers alike want to find ways to use the data already collected AND collect new types of data
Why do we need to change the data collection methods? Need consistency and uniformity – keys to good data! Without good data, the Annual Catch Limits will be set lower to account for uncertainty Timely data will allow for better management, prevent quota overages, and minimize disruptions Want fishermen, port samplers and managers to feel like their hard work has a purpose
Problems with current data collection system - PR There is a number of unreported catch (48% of landings for whole island); varies by coasts Catch reports not fast enough for in-season management Do not have accurate estimate of effort by species
What we recommend - PR Address non-reporting – improve correction factor Objective – Determine numbers of non-reporters by fishing port and season Intensive survey for one year, then lower level of monitoring in following years. Repeat intensive survey every 5 years or so New plan for port monitoring Port Agents continue conducting surveys of landed catch to validate fishermen reports More bio-samples (length, weight, age), spread among all ports
Initial List of Overfished and Predominant Species by Gear SpeciesPRSTT/STJSTX Silk Snapper (OF)Trap / H&L Parrotfish (OF)Trammel NetTrap / (Spear) Queen SnapperH&L Yellowtail SnapperH&L / (Trap)?Trap / H&L / (Seine) Lane SnapperTrap / H&L / (Gillnet)Trap White GruntTrap / Trammel NetTrapTrap / H&L HogfishSpear-SCUBATrap Red HindH&L / Trap / (Spear)H&L / TrapTrap / H&L / Spear Coney GrouperFurther investigation needed Queen TriggerfishFurther investigation needed
Timeliness Currently one month reporting period in all islands Lag of two to four weeks after end of reporting period before catch is reported Want weekly reporting with one week lag after reporting period May need to phase in Options for collecting data Drop off at agencies offices Mail Electronic data reporting
Catch per Unit Effort Need landings of individual species separated by gear Need to know where catch occurred Area of coast (see map, next slide) Grid (5x5) Predominant depth by gear/day Specifics for each gear Number of units of gear Mesh Size Soak Time, etc.
Priorities for short term Provide management advice for selected species within 2-7 years (PR/VI) Intensive length sampling Enhance industry understanding and engagement (PR/VI) Report landings by species (VI) Increase bio-sampling (VI) Increase landings reporting by dealers (PR) Estimate non-reporting by time and area (PR) Validate landing reports (PR/VI) Enhance enforcement (PR/VI)
Priorities for long term Life history sampling Aging, maturation, fecundity Trophic studies Statistical model application Periodic evaluation of program design Ongoing monitoring Maintain sufficient reporting