Stock Assessment Review and Annu

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					Stock Assessment Review and
Annual Catch Limits
Caribbean Fishery Management Council

Barbara Kojis, Ph.D.
SSC Chair
Comment on Appropriateness of
ACLs for Fisheries Management in the
US Caribbean
 Data not available for vast majority of stocks to
 calculate ACLs
 ACLs are difficult to apply to the stock structure
 in the US Caribbean because of:
  ◦ Large number of stocks
  ◦ Interactions among stocks
  ◦ Interactions between fisheries and stocks
 Need to invent methods to calculate ACLs
 Lack adequate resources (people with expertise,
 time) to do this
Stock Assessment Process
 Currently conducted through SEDAR (Southeast Data,
 Assessment, and Review) process which consists of 3 workshops
 ◦ Data Workshop: compiles and reviews all available data on selected
   species and assesses adequacy of data for conducting a stock
 ◦ Assessment Workshop: one week of intensive data analysis
 ◦ Review Workshop: Independent experts review the data, results, and
 The SEDAR process has been conducted for several species, but
 no stock assessment has been determined to be adequate primarily
 because of data limitations. Examples:
 ◦ Queen conch – lack of useful effort data
 ◦ Yellow tail snapper – too few samples – fish is commonly caught but
   using a special technique that was infrequently sampled
 As a result – SSC has not peer reviewed stock assessments or set
 annual catch limits for species or species units, except for some of
 the species designated as overfished where MSY set to 0
Status of Available Data in USVI and
Puerto Rico for Stock Assessments
 Lack of requirements for species specific data in fisher catch reports in USVI
 PR Trip Ticket Problems:
 ◦   Tickets require species specific data but, in earlier years, fishers did not ID many species
 ◦   Multiple trips recorded on a single ticket so catch/effort cannot be determined
 Accuracy of data provided by fishers on trip tickets/catch reports
 ◦   Some fishers in VI state that they do not accurately report catches on Catch Report forms
 ◦   Fishers in PR refuse to turn in trip tickets when angry with DNER
 Lack of checks on accuracy of data because
 ◦   No requirements for dealer permits in the VI and PR
 ◦   No separate dealers - fishers sell their own fish to individual customers in the VI and to some
     extent in PR
 ◦    Port sampling participation by fishers voluntary and cooperation varies among fishers
 ◦   Funding for port sampling has declined over the years and the cost of sampling has increased
     resulting in fewer samples
 Adequacy of long term fisheries independent research for stock assessments needs to be
        University of PR and VI
        NOAA NMFS
        NOAA Ocean
Recreational Fisheries Data –
Puerto Rico
 MRFSS has been conducted in PR since
 2000 but data is inadequate given the
 importance of recreational fishing in PR
 ◦ Very small sample size
 It is estimated from the MRFSS data that
 the recreational sector catches are equal
 to 100% of the commercial catch so
 comprehensive data on this sector is
 extremely important
Recreational Fisheries Data –
US Virgin Islands
 USVI – information on recreational catch is limited
 ◦ No MRFSS has been successfully implemented
 ◦ A telephone surveys was conducted in 1992 by Jennings
 ◦ A telephone survey confined to registered boat owners in
   the USVI was conducted in 2000 by UVI, Eastern
   Caribbean Center through a contract with DPNR/Division
   of Fish and Wildlife (DFW)
 ◦ DFW annually gathers information on catch/effort of
   fishing tournaments and has written several reports
 ◦ DFW conducted surveys of shoreline fishing effort in early
   2000’s, which is available in an in house report
 The above studies tend to show relatively low
 participation in recreational fishing of reef fish in the
SFA 2005 and the Status of Fisheries Data
  Sustainable Fisheries Act Comprehensive
  Amendment of 2005 (SFA 2005)
  ◦ Acknowledged that fisheries data in the US Caribbean
    were inadequate not only because of data limitations but
    also because much of the data not compiled and available
    for analysis
  ◦ Combined taxonomically related species into a variety of
    species units
  ◦ Based MSY and OY on the mean of recent catch data

  The SSC recommended that all data from the USVI
  and PR be compiled and available for analysis for
  future SEDAR stock assessments and any other
  analyses required for determining status of stocks
  and OFLs and ABCs
 January 2009 a SEDAR will be held to
 review all available data to determine
 adequacy for ABC estimations
Establishment of Working Groups
The SSC recommended and the CFMC established two working
  groups to assist the SSC in establishing OFLs and ABCs

  ◦ The Technical Monitoring and Compliance Group (TMCT)
      Responsible for ensuring the data is compiled
      Recommend methods for data analysis and determination of OFLs and ABCs to the
      ACLG and SSC

  ◦ The Annual Catch Limit Plan Development Group (ACLG) – modeled
    on the SFA Working Group. Responsible for:
      Reviewing and updating the SFA 2005 status determinations
      Assembling data on trends in effort, abundance, size, etc.
      Updating the data in the SFA 2005
      Using the revised data and life history parameters to reassess the species groups
      Ascertaining the feasibility of establishing island-based fishery management
      Providing SSC with an assessment of the adequacy of the data to determine stock status
      and trends, and it the data are adequate, perform the analyses
      SSC also recommended that data from other relevant research programs be used in the
TCMT Recommendations to ACLG
and SSC
 Recommended using average landings to estimate
 MSY – similar to the method used in SFA 205
 Recommended using TIP data to partition snapper
 and grouper landings from the USVI by species
 Recommended calculating separate limits and targets
 for the St. Thomas/St. John District, the St. Croix
 District, and Puerto Rico
 Recommended using MRFSS data to estimate
 recreational landings and set limits in Puerto Rico
 No MRFSS data exists in VI and the Team provided
 no recommendations for estimating recreational
 catches in the VI
ACLG Recommendations to the
 ACLG concurred with TCMT with respect to
 appropriateness of SFA 2005 model but made
 more specific recommendations on which
 landings should apply to which species units
 Recommended setting OFL equal to MSY and
 establishing the ACL based on the 25%, 50% or
 75% lower confidence limit of the average catch
 as adjusted for stock status
 The ACLG asked the SSC for a recommendation
 on how to set the ACT
 ◦ Should it be set to OY, or
 ◦ Should it be based on the ACL as reduced by
   management uncertainty
SSC’s Response
 SSC recommended adjusting MSY (based on average catch)
 using the following equation:
 ◦ Status scaler x average catch x vulnerability
     Status scalers incorporate the risk status of species in the fishery
     Defined as:
        At Risk (overfished or undergoing overfishing) = <1
        Undetermined = 1
        Not At Risk = >1
 ◦ Vulnerability is based on susceptibility and productivity factors
   being considered by the current Vulnerability Evaluation
   Working Group
 The SSC also recommended that ABC be set at 25%, 50%,
 or 75% of the lower confidence limit (LCL) of average catch
 as adjusted for stock status
 ◦ Formula: ABC = MSY – (Avg. Catch * %LCL)
 The SSC also requested guidance for applying different
 percent confidence limits
Fishers as Partners in the Process
 The St. Thomas Fishermen’s Association (STFA) is a
 non-profit organization that is making a substantial
 contribution to the process
  ◦ They have carried out research on:
      Bycatch for various gears and other data on catches
      Currently carrying out field work to determine the feasibility of
      various sized escape vents in traps to reduce bycatch
  ◦ Participate in SEDAR, TCMT, ACLG, and SSC meetings
    as members and in providing testimony – local knowledge
    is invaluable
 St. Croix Fishermen’s Association – also a non-profit
 organization – trying to emulate the role that the
 STFA is playing in management of their own fishery
And After Setting of OFLs and
 The SSC expressed concern that the Council had fisheries
 management plans/regulations in place but little was being
 done to monitor landings and compliance on a timely basis
 The SSC recommended that once OFLs, ABCs, ACLs, and
 ACTs had been set, that a Monitoring and Compliance Team
 be established to continuously monitor landings and
 compliance and report to the CFMC when ACT and ACL
 levels have been reached or exceeded so that action can be
 ◦ Local government agencies are federally funded to collect
   landings data. It was recommended that federal funding agencies
   request that this data be required to be collected, entered into a
   database, and summarized in a timely manner (monthly), so that
   lands can be monitored in real time.
Outcomes – besides OFL &
 Data, data, data – need to assess where we
 are and what is feasible
 ◦ What data do we need to carry out stock
 ◦ What data can the expect to gather given the
   types of fisheries present in the US Caribbean
 ◦ What should be the focus of data collection given
   people and time constraints
    Indicator species?
    Broad based catch effort data?