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Deepwater snapper. Towards improved stock assessments and management. Outline. Background Work plan Progress to date Considerations. Background. Deepwater snapper are an important fisheries resource in many PICTs Declines in catches in some PICTs have raised concerns about sustainability - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Deepwater snapper

Report of the Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division (FAME)

Deepwater snapperTowards improved stock assessments and management

1OutlineBackgroundWork planProgress to dateConsiderations2BackgroundDeepwater snapper are an important fisheries resource in many PICTsDeclines in catches in some PICTs have raised concerns about sustainabilityQuantitative assessments are limited by lack of adequate biological and fisheries data

3BackgroundAt previous 3 HoF meetings, SPC members requested assistance with deepwater snapper managementAt 2011 HoF meeting, members endorsed SPC efforts to seek funding to support deepwater snapper projectSPC obtained funding from:AusAID (2012-2015) - Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, and the Marshall Islands French Pacific Fund (2011-2013) - New Caledonia French Development Agency (2012-2013) - New Caledonia 4Deepwater snapper workshopDeepwater snapper workshop held at SPC in July 2011Identify priority information and training needsParticipants from 12 PICTs The agreed outcomes from the workshop included a work plan for SPCs deepwater snapper activities

5Work PlanThere are 4 priority work areas:Fisheries data collectionImproving biological knowledgeFisheries assessment and managementCapacity development

6Fisheries Data CollectionAim is to develop a standardised approach to fisheries data collection across the Pacific region many advantages:Facilitates the development and maintenance of a common database system, which minimises development and maintenance costs; Provides consistency in how and what data are collected and how they are analysed; and Facilitates comparisons of fisheries among countries7Fisheries Data CollectionActivitiesSupport development of fisheries monitoring programs in-country (e.g. logsheets and port sampling)Utilise existing logsheets where feasible, to maintain familiarity in data reportingOtherwise utilise existing artisanal data formsModify existing artisanal fisheries database (TUF-ART) to accommodate deepwater snapper fisheries data8Improving Biological KnowledgeA large number of species are captured in deepwater fisheriesGenerally assumed that most species are long-lived, slow growing and late to matureLimited biological information available; longevity, growth and maturity is unknown for many species

9Improving Biological KnowledgeActivitiesFisheries independent surveysFisheries dependent collections (e.g. port sampling)

Estimate longevity, growth rates, maturity schedules and spawning seasons for key speciesExamine genetic stock structure to identify management units

10Fisheries assessment and managementA lack of data has prevented traditional stock assessments for deepwater snapperA long time series of precise catch and effort data is requiredThe cost of such data collection would most likely exceed the value of deepwater fisheries in most PICTs.Is it appropriate to allocate significant resources to support stock assessments for deepwater snapper?11Fisheries assessment and managementDepletion experiments used to estimate Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) in 80/90sMSY may not be most suitable reference point for deepwater snapper, because:Estimates of MSY are usually very uncertainMSY assumes that the environment does not varyFishing at MSY levels may produce undesirable effects for deepwater snapper fisheriese.g. while catches at MSY may be sustainable, catch rates may decline to levels that are not economically viable 12Fisheries assessment and managementNeed to develop alternative management indicators and reference points for deepwater snapperIndicators need to be easy to monitor e.g. fish sizeIndicators and reference points need to be integrated into a formal management frameworkManagement Procedures (MP) is a useful framework, and is used successfully in other deepwater fisheries MPs specify the management action(s) that will be taken when indicators reach certain threshold reference pointsE.g reduce effort by X% when average fish size is < Ycm13Fisheries assessment and managementActivitiesCharacterise deepwater snapper fisheries in each PICT to identify trends and critical data limitationsDevelop species distribution models and provide maps of potential habitat for the major target speciesDevelop indicators and reference points suitable for application within a MP framework14Capacity developmentAim to enhance capacity for deepwater snapper management and assessment in home countryOpportunities for Pacific Island Fisheries Officers to complete post-graduate studies Long-term attachments to SPC to focus on developing skills in data analysis and assessment15Progress to date16Scientific CruisesCruises in Fiji, Samoa, Wallis & Futuna, and Tonga

Fished 24 seamounts17Scientific CruisesDetailed catch and effort data from lightly exploited populations - useful baseline information for assessmentsBiological samples collected from 970 individuals from 16 species

18Data collection Supporting deepwater snapper fisheries data collection programs Tonga, Vanuatu, SamoaImplemented and supporting biological sampling Tonga, New Caledonia (>1000 samples)

19Capacity developmentAusAID funding provides support for 4 Pacific Island Fisheries Officers to complete postgraduate degreesScholarshipsVanuatu Jeremie Kaltavara (MSc, Australian Maritime College)Samoa Ueta Faasili Jr (MSc, University of Wollongong)Attachments, samples and analytical supportTonga Hau Halafihi (PhD, University of Canterbury)Tuvalu Etuati Poulasi (MSc, Australian Maritime College)20

Species identificationCollaboration with Genetics lab at University of HawaiiIdentified new species (Etelis marshi) previously thought to be Etelis carbunclus (ruby snapper)

Etelis carbunculusEtelis marshi

Etelis carbunculus

Etelis carbunculusEtelis marshiEtelis marshi21Identification cards

Waterproof species identification cards for fishersDistributed to Fiji, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu22ConsiderationsHeads of Fisheries are invited to:Note progress that has been made to dateNote that SPC will be providing in-country support to establish fisheries data collection programs, butAcknowledge that success of the project will be dependent on support from Fisheries DepartmentsConsider the need for funding beyond the life of this project (2015)

23Questions?

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