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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.


Progress of sampling success and fisher involvement before and after Send us your skeletons commenced in 2010/11.(a) Total number of skeletons collected from recreational fishers in each management area of the West Coast Bioregion, (b) number of West Australian dhufish, Snapper and Baldchin groper skeletons obtained, (c) percentage of the total number of skeletons collected from recreational fisher donations, fishing competitions and monthly fishing club meetings, (d) number of donors of skeletons per year and percentage of donors retained per year, (e) numbers of fishers donating different numbers of skeletons in 2010/11-2012/13 and (f) number of sampling events (an event comprises a sample of ≥1 fish skeleton caught and donated on a single day by an individual fisher) in each management area.
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f2: Progress of sampling success and fisher involvement before and after Send us your skeletons commenced in 2010/11.(a) Total number of skeletons collected from recreational fishers in each management area of the West Coast Bioregion, (b) number of West Australian dhufish, Snapper and Baldchin groper skeletons obtained, (c) percentage of the total number of skeletons collected from recreational fisher donations, fishing competitions and monthly fishing club meetings, (d) number of donors of skeletons per year and percentage of donors retained per year, (e) numbers of fishers donating different numbers of skeletons in 2010/11-2012/13 and (f) number of sampling events (an event comprises a sample of ≥1 fish skeleton caught and donated on a single day by an individual fisher) in each management area.

Mentions: The total number of fish skeletons (fish after fillets have been removed) collected from recreational fishers per year has increased substantially since 2002/03 (Fig. 2a). In 2007/08, accompanied by limited promotion, at least 58% more skeletons were obtained than in previous years. But, by 2009/10, when the majority of management changes had been introduced and thus catches had been reduced by at least 50% of those in 2005/06, decreases in the number of fish skeletons obtained from recreational fishers of 5–50% occurred among management areas, driven by declines in donations of West Australian dhufish (36%) and Snapper (20%) in comparison to 2007/08 (Fig. 2a, b). However, after SUYS commenced in late 2010, 69–107% more skeletons were obtained from recreational fishers per year in each area and of each species than in 2009/10 (Fig. 2a, b). Note that monitoring of Baldchin groper only commenced in 2007/08 and the Kalbarri Area is monitored mainly through commercial sampling (Table 1), with only a small number of recreational fish skeletons donated.


Breathing life into fisheries stock assessments with citizen science
Progress of sampling success and fisher involvement before and after Send us your skeletons commenced in 2010/11.(a) Total number of skeletons collected from recreational fishers in each management area of the West Coast Bioregion, (b) number of West Australian dhufish, Snapper and Baldchin groper skeletons obtained, (c) percentage of the total number of skeletons collected from recreational fisher donations, fishing competitions and monthly fishing club meetings, (d) number of donors of skeletons per year and percentage of donors retained per year, (e) numbers of fishers donating different numbers of skeletons in 2010/11-2012/13 and (f) number of sampling events (an event comprises a sample of ≥1 fish skeleton caught and donated on a single day by an individual fisher) in each management area.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

f2: Progress of sampling success and fisher involvement before and after Send us your skeletons commenced in 2010/11.(a) Total number of skeletons collected from recreational fishers in each management area of the West Coast Bioregion, (b) number of West Australian dhufish, Snapper and Baldchin groper skeletons obtained, (c) percentage of the total number of skeletons collected from recreational fisher donations, fishing competitions and monthly fishing club meetings, (d) number of donors of skeletons per year and percentage of donors retained per year, (e) numbers of fishers donating different numbers of skeletons in 2010/11-2012/13 and (f) number of sampling events (an event comprises a sample of ≥1 fish skeleton caught and donated on a single day by an individual fisher) in each management area.
Mentions: The total number of fish skeletons (fish after fillets have been removed) collected from recreational fishers per year has increased substantially since 2002/03 (Fig. 2a). In 2007/08, accompanied by limited promotion, at least 58% more skeletons were obtained than in previous years. But, by 2009/10, when the majority of management changes had been introduced and thus catches had been reduced by at least 50% of those in 2005/06, decreases in the number of fish skeletons obtained from recreational fishers of 5–50% occurred among management areas, driven by declines in donations of West Australian dhufish (36%) and Snapper (20%) in comparison to 2007/08 (Fig. 2a, b). However, after SUYS commenced in late 2010, 69–107% more skeletons were obtained from recreational fishers per year in each area and of each species than in 2009/10 (Fig. 2a, b). Note that monitoring of Baldchin groper only commenced in 2007/08 and the Kalbarri Area is monitored mainly through commercial sampling (Table 1), with only a small number of recreational fish skeletons donated.

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.