Tag Archives: Federal scientists

Not what I’m seeing: Crab fisherman thinks stock healthier than scientists say

Port de Grave snow crab fisherman says he’s baffled by a bleak stock assessment recently released by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. While federal scientists said there has been a whopping 40 per cent decline in the amount of harvestable crab off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Dwight Petten says that doesn’t match what he is seeing on the water. Petten, 51, has been fishing for a quarter century. He and his 27-year-old son own two boats, employ six people and have a 500,000-pound quota which they caught easily in 2016. “We found catch rates the best we’ve ever had, so we’re not seeing what the scientists is saying is happening,” he told the St. John’s Morning Show. Petten, who fishes in Area 3L, from Bonavista to Cape Race, said he is seeing lots of healthy crab, despite the assertion by scientists that there are few small crab to replace the mature stock. continue reading the story here 07:51

A sketchy report, and we await more info. – Federal scientists have completed a pilot project in which they relied heavily on the expertise of fishermen

BOSTON (AP) _ The survey of flatfish, such as flounder, came as scientific methods for counting fish are under fire. Critics say it’s unreliable and a poor basis for setting fishermen’s catch limits. The survey, conducted this month, put new focus on certain geographic areas suggested by fishermen. It also used different nets and operated from two commercial fishing boats, rather than the federal research vessel normally used. Fishery scientists say data from such surveys can bolster population estimates, both now and in the future. That’s if the government can pay for them. That’s a potential difficulty, since the recent survey cost roughly a half million dollars. 16:24  http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/news/features/2013_ytf_pilot/

Poor counting plagues New England fisheries – Federal scientists acknowledge problems but make excuses

“I think it’s irresponsible to shut down fisheries based on such inaccurate stock assessments,” said Steve Cadrin, a former federal stock assessment scientist and a professor at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.

Federal scientists acknowledge errors in assessments of critical New England fish stocks and say they’re working hard to fix them. But they add that their overall methods are proven sound. [email protected]

Which is Bull Bleep! Read this article.

Because New England has one of the longest-running fishery databases in the world, computer modeling had a good track record of predicting future species populations. Federal fisheries law is built on those predictions, and is based on limiting catches when fish stocks decline below a specific population size.

But that model assumes that the ocean environment is relatively stable and that the amount fishermen catch is the biggest variable that must be brought under control. It worked well enough until the ocean began showing signs it was changing, said Steve Cadrin, an associate professor at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology and a former NMFS fisheries scientist.