Fisheries Assessment: What Can Be Learned From Interviewing Resource Users
Lead Researcher and Department
B. Neis, Department of Sociology, Memorial University; D.C. Schneider, Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University; L. Felt, Department of Sociology, Memorial University; R. L. Haedrich, Department of Biology, Memorial University; J. Fischer; J.A. Hutchings
Collaborators and Students
Science Branch, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Environment Canada through the Green Plan, administered by the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC).
Fishers have detailed knowledge of their resources, their environment, and their fishing practices that is rarely systematically collected. Three types of interviews were conducted with coastal Newfoundland fishers to identify the range of information available, to see if it could be quantified, and to explore its potential for reconstructing trends within fisheries. These fishers have many terms for Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) each associated with characteristic patterns of seasonal movement and availability to gear and indicating the location of several coastal spawning areas. They described a variety of changes in fishing practice. Of the four changes that could be quantified all contributed to decadal-scale increases in catch efficiency prior to 1992, while change in catch per unit of effort for cod was consistently negative at decadal scales. For these fishers lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) roe fishery, catch per unit of effort was consistently negative in the 1990s. Ways to access the large reservoir of information held by fishers, the use of several cross-checks to identify consistent patterns, and the use of trends and patterns to broaden the basis for interpreting quantitative surveys used in fisheries assessment are described. Local information from resource users can be assembled in forms usable in quantitative stock assessments.
Published in: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 56 (10) 1949-1963. 1999.
Fishers ecological knowledge, Lumpfish, Cod, Catch-effort, Local ecological knowledge
Clarenville - Bonavista
Zone 15 - Discovery
Salt water fishing (Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting — Fishing, hunting and trapping — Fishing)
Fisheries research and development laboratories (Professional, scientific and technical services — Scientific research and development services — Research and development in the physical, engineering and life sciences)
Cod (Fisheries — Species)
Lumpfish (Fisheries — Species)
Sociology, Faculty of Arts (STJ)
Biology, Faculty of Science (STJ)
Ocean Sciences, Faculty of Science (STJ)