Guy Harvey Magazine

SUM 2013

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Typically, multiple years of data for a stock it's an inherent part of the process. I think most folks assessment need to be collected. These data are agree that the frequency of stock assessments needs gathered both from commercial and recreational to be increased for certain species like red snapper. CA: Can you elaborate on that? fshermen, and collected by scientists themselves. However, more frequent assessments require a GM: One thing has been advancements in the Collecting commercial landings data is pretty corresponding investment in data collection, and Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP). straightforward, and it's some of the most accurate that increased cost right now is a hurdle that has MRIP is the modernized version of the Marine data we have. Collecting information on discard been tough to clear. Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS), and mortality is more challenging for commercial is the mechanism for collecting data on recreational fsheries. Recreational data collection is more harvest and efort for most of the country. One of the complicated. We use dockside surveys, phone or charter boat surveys to estimate recreational catch and/or efort (number of trips). This takes time. Once the data is collected and incorporated into databases, the stock assessment process begins. In CA: Can the stock assessment process be sped up? Is it possible to get data faster? biggest changes is a change in survey approach. The phone survey done previously involved a random digit dialing program. It didn't consider if the target was a fshing household or not. Now it does. Also, in the past, Florida didn't require a license to fsh from the Southeast U.S., this often occurs via a process GM: The data for the commercial fshery is often a shoreline. Now, a shoreline license is required but known as SEDAR that allows the public to become some of the most reliable we get because of is free-of-charge. However, this allows the survey to part of the assessment. Stakeholders and the public requirements that commercial fshermen must reach a whole group of people we previously missed. sit side by side with scientists and review the data follow. If you ignore illegal catch, we have good This sounds like common sense, but getting it done going into the models and the form of the models information there on landings. That is about as was a big task. We also need to fnd other ways for themselves. There's a phase with input from outside near real-time as we get. The recreational fshery is anglers to report their catch. There's been some talk experts, then a review workshop. That is a good six- a much diferent story. If you look at the volume of about a smartphone app, and several are available as or eight-month process in itself. Ultimately, even the fshing in Florida, which is over 20 million trips in a we speak. We also need to dramatically increase the best assessments are dated by two or three years. year, that's an incredible number. A survey efort to number of "intercepts," or interviews at the dock to get that many people represented is costly and time ask people what they caught. That's a big challenge consuming. That's why you're starting to hear about because it requires manpower. CA: If the stock assessment process is that lengthy, that must mean regulations are slow to change. Does this cause problems? GM: Well, it certainly can create some frustration among anglers because what the fshermen see in the water is real time, but the stock assessment process is not real time. For example, as a species like red snapper rebounds, catch limits are reached faster and seasons must be shortened. So fshermen see lots of fsh in the water and feel like restrictions are getting tighter, which is counter-intuitive. In reality, the catch limits may be the same year to year, but the fsh are just being caught faster and the limits haven't changed because the stock assessment is still in process. It's frustrating for the angler, but right now the modernization of survey methods. Gil McRae chats up GHM editor Fred Garth and AFTCO president Bill Shedd at the 2012 Gulf Fisheries Symposium. Photo: Jim Tizzano.

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