Fishers' knowledge as an indicator of spatial and temporal trends in abundance of commercial fish species: Megrim (Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis) in the northern North Sea

P. Macdonald*, C. H. Angus, I. R. Cleasby, C. T. Marshall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The need for alternative strategies to assist in the monitoring and sustainable management of many commercially important fish stocks is widely recognized. In recent years, greater utilization of fishers' knowledge has been advocated as a potentially valuable source of ecological data in the assessment and management process. In this study changes in the distribution and relative abundance of common megrim Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis in the North Sea were investigated by comparing three data sources: fishers' knowledge collected through a structured questionnaire; a vessel's haul-by-haul catch data from the personal diaries of a single skipper over a 10-year time-series, and catch rates from fishery-independent surveys (IBTS Q1 and Q3). Trends in the distribution and relative abundance of megrim were broadly comparable between the three data sources. The results of the study indicate that, in the northern North Sea, fishers' knowledge and catch data can provide valid data sources which can contribute to the assessment and management process. A structured approach consisting of a formal agreement, full transparency and commitment between all stakeholders is needed to provide and utilize the necessary data required to provide the most effective and inclusive approach to resource management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-239
Number of pages12
JournalMarine Policy
Volume45
Early online date21 Nov 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

Fingerprint

North Sea
trend
fish
catch statistics
resource management
relative abundance
process management
stakeholders
fishery survey
time series analysis
questionnaires
fisheries
bycatch
monitoring
transparency
stakeholder
vessel
Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis
indicator
sea

Keywords

  • Fisheries Management
  • Fishers' knowledge
  • Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis
  • North Sea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Law
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Fishers' knowledge as an indicator of spatial and temporal trends in abundance of commercial fish species : Megrim (Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis) in the northern North Sea. / Macdonald, P.; Angus, C. H.; Cleasby, I. R.; Marshall, C. T.

In: Marine Policy, Vol. 45, 03.2014, p. 228-239.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "The need for alternative strategies to assist in the monitoring and sustainable management of many commercially important fish stocks is widely recognized. In recent years, greater utilization of fishers' knowledge has been advocated as a potentially valuable source of ecological data in the assessment and management process. In this study changes in the distribution and relative abundance of common megrim Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis in the North Sea were investigated by comparing three data sources: fishers' knowledge collected through a structured questionnaire; a vessel's haul-by-haul catch data from the personal diaries of a single skipper over a 10-year time-series, and catch rates from fishery-independent surveys (IBTS Q1 and Q3). Trends in the distribution and relative abundance of megrim were broadly comparable between the three data sources. The results of the study indicate that, in the northern North Sea, fishers' knowledge and catch data can provide valid data sources which can contribute to the assessment and management process. A structured approach consisting of a formal agreement, full transparency and commitment between all stakeholders is needed to provide and utilize the necessary data required to provide the most effective and inclusive approach to resource management.",
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note = "Acknowledgments This study was carried out during a wider investigation into the biology, ecology and fishery of megrim in the northern North Sea and was partly funded by the Seafish Industry Authority, Scottish Fishermen’s Trust and Shetland Islands Council. We are grateful to the members of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation for providing valuable feedback and one anonymous vessel owner for providing diary data. We are also grateful to Ian Napier and Leslie Tait for transcribing and digitizing diary data.",
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