An Incentive-Led, Dynamic Communication Program in the U.S. Atlantic Scallop Fishery

Friday, 13 February 2015: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room 210G (San Jose Convention Center)
Catherine E. O'Keefe, University of Massachusetts, Fairhaven, MA
Greg DeCelles, University of Massachusetts, Fairhaven, MA
Steven X. Cadrin, University of Massachusetts, Fairhaven, MA
Dynamic approaches to address fisheries bycatch that include input from fishermen, scientists and managers can be successful for harvesting valuable target species while conserving non-target species.  Within the dynamic context, information can be shared in real or near-real time, facilitating changes in fishermen behavior and influencing fishery performance.  A dynamic approach to bycatch avoidance can ensure that both management and fishery objectives are acknowledged and prioritized.  While the outcome of bycatch avoidance programs can be ecologically beneficial, specific aspects of program design can include measures that lead to socioeconomic benefits.  Through Dynamic Ocean Management, stakeholder incentives are prioritized in order to meet the demands of fine scale spatial and temporal management.  We employed a cooperative, iterative and dynamic approach to address bycatch of yellowtail flounder (Limanda ferruginea) in the Atlantic sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) fishery.  We developed a bycatch avoidance system that uses near real-time, spatially-specific, fishery-dependent data to a) determine high density bycatch areas and b) advise the fishing fleet to avoid these ‘hot spots.’  We employ a two-phase approach to bycatch avoidance.  Phase one provides a map of previously collected data on target and bycatch species’ distributions prior to the fishery opening, representative of traditional static fishery survey information.  The second, dynamic, phase consists of daily transmissions from fishermen about the amount and location of bycatch, rapid identification of “hotspot” areas that could lead to premature fishery closure and loss of target species’ yield, and transmission of a daily bycatch advisory back to the fleet.  This case study demonstrates an example of Dynamic Ocean Management to reduce bycatch that uses a single data stream, cost-effective, user-friendly technology, and minimal data processing.