LogoDiscardLess Strategies for the gradual elimination of discards in European fisheries

Unravelling the scientific potential of high resolution fishery data

Fisheries science and fisheries management advice rely on both scientific and commercial data to estimate the distribution and abundance of marine species. These two data types differ, with scientific data having a broader geographical coverage but less intensity and time coverage compared to commercial data. Here we present a new type of commercial data with high resolution and coverage. To our knowledge, the dataset presented in this study has never been used for scientific purposes. While commercial datasets usually include the total weight by species on per haul basis, the new data also include the commercial size class for the species landed, recorded directly on a haul-by-haul basis. Thus, this dataset has the potential to provide knowledge on landed fish with as high spatio-temporal resolution as when coupling logbooks and sales slips but with the addition of detailed knowledge on the size distribution. Such information may otherwise be obtained through on-board observer programmes but unlike the observers’ data, the dataset presented here is routinely collected on most of the trips of the vessels involved, which means that the coverage of the data for the individual vessel is larger than observers’ data. Furthermore, the risk of changes in fishing behaviour due to the presence of an observer on-board is avoided. This paper describes the coverage and completeness of the dataset, and explores the reliability of the data available. We conclude that the main limitation is the small number of fishing vessels covered by the program, but that the data from those vessels are accurate, detailed, and relatively reliable.

Kristian Schreiber Plet-Hansen, Erling Larsen, Lars Olof Mortensen, J. Rasmus Nielsen, Clara Ulrich

Publication ID: