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St. Thomas Grouper Analysis

St. Thomas Grouper Analysis

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St. Thomas Grouper Analysis

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  1. St. Thomas Grouper Analysis Carried out under STFA Funding Josh Nowlis, Ph.D. Stock Assessment Specialist

  2. Data Sources • Catch Reports (Snapper/Grouper) 1974-1999 • Catch Reports (by Fishing Method) 1974-2012 • Catch Reports (Grouper Landings) 1997-2012 • Port Sampling (TIP) 1979-2012 • STFA Studies (2005-6, 2006, 2008, 2010-2012) • Rick Nemeth’s Red Hind Bank Studies (2000-2012) • Olsen and LaPlace Nassau Grouper/Hind data from 1974

  3. Total St. Thomas Finfish Landingsby method

  4. St. Thomas Grouper Landings (Estimated and Reported ACL

  5. National Standard 1 98-623 (1) Conservation and management measures shall prevent overfishing while achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield from each fishery for the United States fishing industry. (28) The term "optimum", with respect to the yield from a fishery, means the amount of fish which– (A) will provide the greatest overall benefit to the Nation, particularly with respect to food production and recreational opportunities, and taking into account the protection of marine ecosystems; (B) is prescribed as such on the basis of the maximum sustainable yield from the fishery, as reduced by any relevant economic, social, or ecological factor; and (C) in the case of an overfished fishery, provides for rebuilding to a level consistent with producing the maximum sustainable yield in such fishery.

  6. St. Thomas Estimated Grouper Landings (and OFL/ACL)

  7. Timing of ClosureSt. Thomas Grouper Landings by Month (1999-2006)

  8. Red Hind Average TL 1982 Strong El Nino 1986 Moderate El Nino 1987 Moderate El Nino

  9. STT Grouper Abundance Measures

  10. Recommendations • Dr. Nemeth should be funded to carry out an annual survey on the hind bank MCD. These normally take place in February to March. • Following the survey, the results should be assessed and the OFL/ACL adjusted to account for variations in recruitment on the MCD. • Fishermen should be involved in this review and adjustment process. • The OFL should serve as the ACL guide. • The CFMC should not only insure funding for Dr. Nemeth’s surveys but also establish a mechanism for review and adjustment (if required) of the ACL on an annual basis. • We note that this approach is similar to the manner in which many fisheries are managed (e.g.. Salmon, Alaska King crab).

  11. % Red Hind in TIP Grouper Samples

  12. Nemeth January Hind Bank Census Results

  13. Nemeth Hind Bank Census

  14. Nemeth Census vs Total Grouper Landings

  15. Impact of Survey Based St. Thomas Grouper OFL/ACL

  16. Proposal for Grouper Management • Funding for Nemeth to carry out annual MCD census at appropriate sample size. • Incorporate current work by Nemeth/Appledorn to improve precision of estimate. • Use results to calculate OFL annually. • Set ACL=OFL? • Close fishery when ACL/OFL exceeded. • Current effort for electronic reporting will enhance ability for projecting landings. • Monitor Sizes by Port Sampling to assess impacts of fishing pressure.

  17. Advantages • Does not guarantee that ACL will be exceeded. • Precautionary in that when Nemeth census indicates low numbers ACL can be reduced. • Advantage for fishermen in that when census indicates, ACL can be increased. • Incorporates more information than simple average landings calculations.