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 Background › The SSC recommended OFL = average or median catch for most species/species groups and ABC = OFL. › The CFMC asked the SSC to consider withdrawing.

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Presentation on theme: " Background › The SSC recommended OFL = average or median catch for most species/species groups and ABC = OFL. › The CFMC asked the SSC to consider withdrawing."— Presentation transcript:

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2  Background › The SSC recommended OFL = average or median catch for most species/species groups and ABC = OFL. › The CFMC asked the SSC to consider withdrawing their OFL recommendation. › Why? Because the SAFMC only provided ABC for some species. › Why is there concern about OFL? An overfishing determination (catches exceed the OFL) requires immediate action to end overfishing.

3  NOAA General Counsel advised: › Even if the SSC does not recommend OFL, an OFL would still need to be defined in the amendments to FMPs. › OFL could be based on fishing mortality. However, fishing mortality determinations have not been made for most CFMC stocks. › If the SSC withdraws OFL, they would have to provide justification.

4  National Standard 1 Guidelines call for ABC estimates derived from OFL  The logic for recommending an ABC without being able to quantify OFL is unclear to the SSC from a scientific point of view  OFL is based on MSY which is a well established global scientific concept with operational models for its application  MSY is the explicitly legal basis for defining overfishing according to the MSFCMA, while ABC is a construct of US fisheries policy which is not explicitly required by the MSFCMA or scientifically defined

5  The SSC concluded it had no basis for withdrawing its previous OFL recommendations or for refraining from future OFL recommendations

6 The SSC was asked by the CFMC to review its previous recommendations of ABC and OFL for spiny lobster.

7  SSC’s OFL recommendation was based on average catch form the USVI and median catch for PR  The SSC assumed that the stock was healthy (i.e. the stock was not overfished or overfishing was occurring) based on 2005 SEDAR  The 2005 SEDAR concluded: › That fishing mortality was below the overfishing threshold in the assessment phase, and › That the status of spiny lobster could not be determined in the review of the assessment  The SSC recommended that ABC = OFL

8  STFA contended that there was little change in length frequency of spiny lobster between 1971 and 2006 despite a large increase in catch and the stock was healthy.  The SSC based its estimates of OFL/ABC on the assumption that the stock is healthy.  The 1971 data was from a fisheries independent survey while the 2006 data was from commercial catch data.  The 2006 commercial catch data does not include small lobsters because of the minimum size limit.  The graph indicates a reduction in frequency of large spiny lobsters in 2006.

9 Daniel Matos, PR DNER, Marine Lab provided TIP data analyses for spiny lobster in Puerto Rico. 6% of lobster measured from 2006 – 2010 were below minimum size. Average carapace length of females was 99.6 mm (N = 3653) and males mm (N = 4065). Annual mean size for females ranged from 98.7 mm in 2006 to mm in 2009 and for males from mm in 2007 to mm in SSC observed that there was a rapid decline in abundance with increasing size categories indicating high fishing pressure (see graph on right). Puerto Rico combined data – all years and coasts N = 8, 385 lobsters % smaller than 89 mm (legal sized) – 6%

10 Combined data

11  No scientific basis for changing its previous recommendations.  To recommend an OFL and ABC greater than median or average catch for a healthy stock, the SSC would have to have a quantitative basis for determining how much the spiny lobster fishery could be expanded without resulting in overfishing.  There was none.

12  The SSC shares the concerns of the RA regarding the impact of using median or average catch to determine OFL for stocks not overfished or undergoing overfishing.  This may mean that annual catches that frequently occurred in the past will be deemed overfishing and require remedial action. However, this is a consequence of the fisheries management framework established by the agency (NS1 guidelines) for stocks which are extremely data limited.  The SSC does not concur with the approaches of the SAFMC and GMFMC for CFMC stocks.  Inconsistencies between approaches occur throughout the country. The National SSC meetings are an appropriate venue for coordinating approaches with respect to data poor stocks. This issue needs to be effectively addressed at these meetings.

13  Daniel Matos made a presentation of the new Trip Ticket program in PR › DNER was checking the submitted forms  30% of fishers in PR fill out forms completely  DNER was returning incomplete forms to fishers for completion › Some SSC members expressed concern about species ID  Todd Gedamke – SEFSC is monitoring implementation › To ensure that Trip Tickets are completed correctly and in a timely manner › Initial evaluation will be completed in the next few months › Validation will commence in near future and take about a year to complete  SSC recommended training port agents and fishers in fish id and explain the rationale for why the trip ticket data are important for fisheries management

14  Dr. Kostas Alexandridis of UVI - presentation on pilot ERAEF study on St. Thomas, USVI  SSC found merit in the proposal › Value of research that will be conducted, › Capacity building within the US Caribbean, › Data spinoffs that would provide information for socio-economic impact assessments, and › Improved stakeholder understanding of the management process.  If the CFMC decides it is an appropriate project to fund, then a formal proposal should be invited and subject to independent peer review.  SSC also discussed the need for socio-economic impact assessments in the US Caribbean and, if funding is available, recommended reviewing statements of work available elsewhere that could be modified for the Caribbean.  The SSC highlighted need for a strategic approach to socio-economic research in the US Caribbean and suggested that a group of working experts could be convened to develop an appropriate plan for the US Caribbean.

15  SSC recommended that GPS could be provided to willing fishers to gather information that is currently lacking, such as: › Distance fishing occurs from shore › Habitat type fished › Depth fished › Location fished  GPS’ are much less expensive making it affordable to use them in this context.

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