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Quantifying spatial dynamics in fishing activity: application of electronic data collection and GIS to an age old problem


Mundy, CN and Sharman, A, Quantifying spatial dynamics in fishing activity: application of electronic data collection and GIS to an age old problem, 7th William R. and Lenore Mote International Symposium in Fisheries Ecology, 11-13 November 2008, Florida, USA (2008) [Conference Extract]


Small-vessel fisheries (<7m) typically target spatially structured stocks, often in remote areas. The nature of these fishing operations means precise recording of fishery-dependent data is challenging, and fishery independent data collection is cost prohibitive. While annual catches are negligible compared to industrial fisheries, small fisheries are economically significant to regional communities. These low value fisheries are commonly constrained by meagre government resources and limited ‘attractiveness’ to researchers because funds are rarely forthcoming. Typically, we see that assessments of these fisheries (if done) are based on large reporting units, with low-level precision data. Information on spatial structure and stock productivity, and dynamics of the fleet are lost.

The Tasmanian Abalone Fishery happily falls into the category defined above as a spatially structured, small vessel fishery with limited resources. Dynamic international exchange rates, increasing aquaculture production, and rising fuel prices have created a changed economic climate, with a corresponding modification in harvest strategies employed by divers, or imposed by quota owners.

Without fishery independent abundance data to rely on, capturing the changes in fisher behaviour and fleet dynamic are central to attribution of changes in CPUE signals to stock decline or, changed harvest strategy, or both. An electronic data collection system has been developed at TAFI, using a combination of GPS and depth/time dataloggers to collect high-resolution, high-quality spatial location and effort data from abalone divers. Examples of the benefit of this approach are given using spatial performance measures, and the ability to quantify fleet dynamics and fisher behaviour.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:GIS, abalone, GPS, assessment, spatial patterns
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Wild caught edible molluscs
UTAS Author:Mundy, CN (Dr Craig Mundy)
ID Code:101847
Year Published:2008
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-07-13
Last Modified:2015-07-16

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