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Spatial Distribution of Fishing Effort

What does this indicator measure?

This indicator measures the amount of time that the fleet spends fishing in different locations.

Access the West Coast Shorebased IFQ Program Interim Results and the Northeast Multispecies Sector Program Interim Results for Ecological Indicators

Why is this indicator important?

Catch share fisheries change both the composition of the fleet and the incentives under which the fleet operates. These changes might be expected to alter how much, when, and where the fleet fishes. In turn, the magnitude of changes in fishing effort may influence the impact of fishing on habitat, on fishing communities, and on financial viability of the fishery.

How is this indicator measured?

For the West Coast groundfish fishery, we are collaborating with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) staff in the Fishery Resource Analysis and Monitoring Division of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center. We may also be requesting fishery logbook data (aggregated to preserve confidentiality) from the individual states to measure the total amount of expended effort, overall timing of effort, and any changes in the geographic distribution of effort with the advent of catch shares.

What are the strengths and limitations of this indicator?

While it may be possible to measure changes in effort, the interpretation of the changes will be difficult. In addition, logbook data are not always completely reliable, which would reduce the confidence in the results.