Total Catch of a Red-Listed Marine Species Is an Order of Magnitude Higher than Official Data
Accurate information on total catch and effort is essential for successful fisheries management. Officially reported landings, however, may be underestimates of total catch in many fisheries. We investigated the fishery for the nationally red-listed European lobster (Homarus gammarus) in south-eastern Norway. Probability-based strip transect surveys were used to count buoys in the study area in combination with catch per unit effort data obtained independently from volunteer catch diaries, phone interviews, and questionnaires. We estimate that recreational catch accounts for 65% of total catch in the study area. Moreover, our results indicate that only a small proportion (24%) of lobsters landed commercially were sold through the legal market and documented. Total estimated lobster catch was nearly 14 times higher than reported officially. Our study highlights the need for adequate catch monitoring and data collection efforts in coastal areas, presents a clear warning to resource managers that illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fisheries in coastal areas should not be ignored, and shows the potential impact of recreational fisheries.
PublisherPublic Library of Science (PLoS)
CitationPLoS ONE (2012), vol. 7(2): e31216.
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