Evaluation of the Status of Fisheries Data Collection and Stock Assessment Problems in São Paulo, Southeastern Brazil
M. de los A. Gasalla and A.R.G. Tomás
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While the modernization of fishery management tools is increasing throughout the world, developing countries are still trying to build appropriate data collection mechanisms with limited facilities and in fisheries critical condition. Despite the depletion of resources, our fishery scientists usually find an inappropriate context for assessment, expressed in particular by uncertain or nonexistent data and poor estimation of spatial and temporal scales. This is the case in Brazil, which has always found it logistically very difficult and expensive to collect data along its 8,000 km long coast where artisanal activities account for more than 50% of the activity. However, São Paulo state fisheries data have been considered one of the most complete and robust, especially due to the Instituto de Pesca collection efforts that have carefully archived historical landing data in a classical approach since 1968.
This paper gives an overview of the situation with São Paulo State fisheries and databases with the aim of evaluating the possible kinds of data inputs and outputs for stock assessment. Critical points will be discussed. The industrial fleet is composed mainly of sardine seiners, shrimp and paired bottom trawlers, gillnetters and tuna longliners. Fleet size and discards are scarcely known. Besides data collection based on interviews vessel owners also contribute information about total fish production. Unfortunately, fishery effort data has been obtained only for part of the landings, and provide inaccurate estimates. Recently, with the increase in landing sites, the decreasing number of official data collectors, and poor research budgets, complete data collection is becoming more of a challenge. However, the lack of information on other fisheries that share the same stocks is the most critical assessment problem, resulting in poor estimates of total stock catch and effort. The need to improve data acquisition and archive strategies is clear. Nevertheless, information currently available is essential and valuable if we wish to discuss how to use and optimize our resources properly.
- Item number: AK-SG-98-01b
- Year: 1998
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.4027/fsam.1998.02