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Breathing life into fisheries stock assessments with citizen science

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Citizen science offers a potentially cost-effective way for researchers to obtain large data sets over large spatial scales. However, it is not used widely to support biological data collection for fisheries stock assessments. Overfishing of demersal fishes along 1,000 km of the west Australian coast led to restrictive management to recover stocks. This diminished opportunities for scientists to cost-effectively monitor stock recovery via fishery-dependent sampling, particularly of the recreational fishing sector. As fishery-independent methods would be too expensive and logistically-challenging to implement, a citizen science program, Send us your skeletons (SUYS), was developed. SUYS asks recreational fishers to voluntarily donate fish skeletons of important species from their catch to allow biological data extraction by scientists to produce age structures and conduct stock assessment analyses. During SUYS, recreational fisher involvement, sample sizes and spatial and temporal coverage of samples have dramatically increased, while the collection cost per skeleton has declined substantially. SUYS is ensuring sampling objectives for stock assessments are achieved via fishery-dependent collection and reliable and timely scientific advice can be provided to managers. The program is also encouraging public ownership through involvement in the monitoring process, which can lead to greater acceptance of management decisions.

No MeSH data available.


Timeline of assessments and management changes for demersal species in the West Coast Bioregion.Timeline of fish skeleton sampling, assessments, management changes and the commencement of Send Us Your Skeletons (SUYS) for monitoring the key demersal species. WCDSIMF, the commercial West Coast Demersal Scalefish (Interim) Managed Fishery; MLL, minimum legal length; RFBL, Recreational Fishing from a Boat License. Light grey bars represent the timing of the annual two month closure (15th October to 15th December) to recreational fishing for demersal species.
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f1: Timeline of assessments and management changes for demersal species in the West Coast Bioregion.Timeline of fish skeleton sampling, assessments, management changes and the commencement of Send Us Your Skeletons (SUYS) for monitoring the key demersal species. WCDSIMF, the commercial West Coast Demersal Scalefish (Interim) Managed Fishery; MLL, minimum legal length; RFBL, Recreational Fishing from a Boat License. Light grey bars represent the timing of the annual two month closure (15th October to 15th December) to recreational fishing for demersal species.

Mentions: The 2007 assessment detected that overfishing (high fishing mortality rates) had been occurring of each species37. As a result, significant changes were made between late 2007 and early 2010 to the management of both commercial and recreational fishing for these and all other similarly vulnerable demersal fishes in the WCB. The changes were designed to heavily reduce the effect of fishing on stocks (i.e. high F) via reductions in catch to no more than 50% of 2005/06 levels (Fig. 1). Changes to commercial fishery management included the commencement of a limited-entry fishery, with each permit-holder entitled a maximum number of hours they could fish per year, and the closure to commercial line fishing of the Metropolitan Area, representing about 20% of the area of the WCB. Changes to regulations for recreational fishing included, among others, reduced daily bag limits, an annual two month closure to fishing for demersal species in the WCB and the introduction of a recreational fishing from boat licence (Fig. 1)40.


Breathing life into fisheries stock assessments with citizen science
Timeline of assessments and management changes for demersal species in the West Coast Bioregion.Timeline of fish skeleton sampling, assessments, management changes and the commencement of Send Us Your Skeletons (SUYS) for monitoring the key demersal species. WCDSIMF, the commercial West Coast Demersal Scalefish (Interim) Managed Fishery; MLL, minimum legal length; RFBL, Recreational Fishing from a Boat License. Light grey bars represent the timing of the annual two month closure (15th October to 15th December) to recreational fishing for demersal species.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5384193&req=5

f1: Timeline of assessments and management changes for demersal species in the West Coast Bioregion.Timeline of fish skeleton sampling, assessments, management changes and the commencement of Send Us Your Skeletons (SUYS) for monitoring the key demersal species. WCDSIMF, the commercial West Coast Demersal Scalefish (Interim) Managed Fishery; MLL, minimum legal length; RFBL, Recreational Fishing from a Boat License. Light grey bars represent the timing of the annual two month closure (15th October to 15th December) to recreational fishing for demersal species.
Mentions: The 2007 assessment detected that overfishing (high fishing mortality rates) had been occurring of each species37. As a result, significant changes were made between late 2007 and early 2010 to the management of both commercial and recreational fishing for these and all other similarly vulnerable demersal fishes in the WCB. The changes were designed to heavily reduce the effect of fishing on stocks (i.e. high F) via reductions in catch to no more than 50% of 2005/06 levels (Fig. 1). Changes to commercial fishery management included the commencement of a limited-entry fishery, with each permit-holder entitled a maximum number of hours they could fish per year, and the closure to commercial line fishing of the Metropolitan Area, representing about 20% of the area of the WCB. Changes to regulations for recreational fishing included, among others, reduced daily bag limits, an annual two month closure to fishing for demersal species in the WCB and the introduction of a recreational fishing from boat licence (Fig. 1)40.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Citizen science offers a potentially cost-effective way for researchers to obtain large data sets over large spatial scales. However, it is not used widely to support biological data collection for fisheries stock assessments. Overfishing of demersal fishes along 1,000 km of the west Australian coast led to restrictive management to recover stocks. This diminished opportunities for scientists to cost-effectively monitor stock recovery via fishery-dependent sampling, particularly of the recreational fishing sector. As fishery-independent methods would be too expensive and logistically-challenging to implement, a citizen science program, Send us your skeletons (SUYS), was developed. SUYS asks recreational fishers to voluntarily donate fish skeletons of important species from their catch to allow biological data extraction by scientists to produce age structures and conduct stock assessment analyses. During SUYS, recreational fisher involvement, sample sizes and spatial and temporal coverage of samples have dramatically increased, while the collection cost per skeleton has declined substantially. SUYS is ensuring sampling objectives for stock assessments are achieved via fishery-dependent collection and reliable and timely scientific advice can be provided to managers. The program is also encouraging public ownership through involvement in the monitoring process, which can lead to greater acceptance of management decisions.

No MeSH data available.