The Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program released the latest edition of the Atlantic Coast Fisheries Data Collection Standards.
The Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program is a cooperative state-federal program to design, implement and conduct marine fisheries statistics data collection programs and to integrate the data into a single data management system that will meet the needs of fishery managers, scientists and fishermen.
The data collection standards document is considered the blueprint for the program, as well as partners, and will be used to direct partner data collection during the next several years.
Major highlights include a call for more timely data:
• Within the recreational (private boat, rental boat and shore-based fisheries) and for-hire fisheries, the frequency of calculating catch and effort estimates was recommended as one month, a change from the previous recommendation of two months.
• Within the recreational and for-hire fisheries, data availability (data collection and processing prior to initial review) was recommended as 38 days (preferably 30 days), a change from the previous recommendation of 45 days.
•Various conditions for accepting either census or survey methodology were recommended within for-hire fisheries for estimating catch and effort data.
• Biological data is recommended as being collected every 30 days, a change from the previously recommended six months.
Coordinating council chairman Mark Alexander said in a statement that the standards “are significant because they’ve been compiled by very knowledgeable professionals from all the Atlantic Coast federal, state and regional partners of the ACCSP. The breadth and detail of this collaboration makes it an essential resource that we expect all data collectors will come to rely on. Using this guide for sound and effective data collection will no doubt inform sound and effective fisheries management decisions.”
A webinar will be held June 7 to discuss the new standards.