Data Types
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 13:57

Licensing data

Licensing data is often the first piece of information collected from a fishing vessel. Licensing data may show a range of information about the vessel, but essentially it shows the following items; the periods of time the vessel is authorised to fish in the Exclusive Economic Zone, the authorised target species and fishing methods, the cost of the licence. Licensing data is an important data type as once a fishery licences activates a vessels entry into the data collection system. Normally the vessel owner or vessel agent records this information.


Operational catch and effort (logsheet) data (view forms)

Catch and effort logsheets show a vessel’s fishing activities, including its catch (by species and by set), over the duration of the fishing trip. A complete fishing trip is defined by the DCC as ‘from one full or partial unloading to the next full or partial unloading’. The fishing vessel, preferably the captain, should record this information. The form should be submitted at the end of every fishing trip. The fishing activity and the species catch are reported during the fishing operation and should include the start time and the position where the fishing took place. 

These data are used by scientists in stock assessment analyses, and are regularly used by member countries to produce various reports and briefing documents. The value of this type of data compared to other types collected throughout the region is that the information is available at the discrete temporal and spatial strata level (i.e., the exact time and place), which is not the case with port sampling data and unloading information.  In addition, the coverage of logsheet data is generally high.  

Unloading data (view forms)

Unloading forms show the total amount of fish by weight and by species that were unloaded by the vessel at each full or partial unloading, and often the final destination of the catch. The fishing company should record this information. Unloading data should be  provided at the end of the trip, once the unloading operation is complete.  They give an independent estimate of the trip catch, which can be used to verify the logsheet data. These data are also important since they may capture catch totals for vessels that do not provide logsheets. In the longline fishery, unloading data are essentially a summary of the packing list, the reject list and the list of cannery-bound fish.

Fishing Trip and Port Visit Log (view form)

The fishing trip and port visit logs shows an individual vessel’s movement over the duration of the calendar year or the licensing period. The fishing company should record this information. The form is filled in at the end of each trip and should shows all the periods when a vessel was fishing, in transit or making a port visit. It is best if this form is submitted at the end of every month. The form is an effective means of determining the coverage of all other types of data collected.

Observer data (link to PIFRO)

Observer data are an independent source of data and can be used to verify all other sources of data.  It provides information for both compliance and scientific use. Compared to logsheet data, they give a more comprehensive account of the catch detailing the species, the expended effort, and the time and position of capture.  It is the only reliable means to determine the extent of non-target catch and discards in the fishery.  Additionally, observer data show information from a wide variety of areas ranging from vessel characteristics to environmental interactions, and they provide an opportunity for biological sampling.  Observer data are recorded by trained and certified observers. The data should be submitted within seven days of the end of the trip.

Port sampling data (view forms)

Port sampling data show the size and species composition of the unloaded catch. The information is used in regional stock assessment work. Port sampling offers the most convenient, cost effective method to obtain considerable quantities of individual size data (when compared with observer data). Port sampling also provides an independent verification of the data provided by the fishing company (i.e., logsheets, unloadings data and packing/reject/cannery lists). Trained port sampling officers record the name of the species along with its length and weight when available. However, port sampling may not be appropriate when representative samples cannot be obtained, such as when fish caught by purse seiners are sorted among wells prior to unloading.

Telex data

Telex reports alert coastal states of the entry of a licensed vessel into their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).  Vessels are also generally obliged to record and submit regular reports stating their catch and position while they remain inside the EEZ. Telex reports are recorded by the radio officer or vessel master, and should be submitted in line with the requirements outlined in the licencing conditions. Telex catch and position information can be cross-checked with logsheets records. Telex reports have a strong compliance component and telex reports will be verified during vessel boardings.

Packing list data

Packing list data show the individual weights of fish that are packed into cartons destined for the export market. Additionally, depending on the local market conditions, two further categories of data may be collected showing the tuna (typically albacore), which are destined for the cannery and those fish that are destined for the reject (or local) market. Typically, the fishing company records this information for their own use and they can be asked to submit this data after every unloading.

Artisanal data

Artisanal data show the catch and effort information by smaller non-commercial vessels. Vessel captains are encouraged to record this data and submit it at the end of the trip. Artisanal data can also be collected through surveys, especially when conditions are too difficult for captains to record their own data.  Artisanal data can help document what may be significant non-commercial catches; they are also useful for understanding the interactions between commercial and non-commercial fisheries, and for evaluating current and future food security.

Sport fishing data (view form)

Sport fishing data consist of the species and weights of fish landed by individual sport vessels on a daily basis and/or the total number of fish (by species) landed  by all sport vessels during a competition. Sport fishing data should also include some measurement of effort, such as the hours fished, even if no fish were caught by a vessel. The vessel captain or the competition organiser usually records these data. The target species are usually large pelagics  (i.e., billfish, tuna, wahoo, mahi mahi or sharks). Sport fishing data can be used to augment stock assessments and also help researchers understand any possible interactions with the commercial fishery; for example, by comparing the trends in catch rates determined from the sport fishing data to the trends in catch rates determined from commercial fisheries data.  Sport fishing data can also be used to promote the destination to tourists and to assess the benefits of the activity to the local economy.  

VMS data

VMS data shows accurate location information for licensed fishing vessels. Real-time position data are recorded electronically onboard and submitted automatically via satellite to an on-shore monitoring system. The information can be accessed at regional and national information points.

Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) data

MCS data are used to determine a vessel’s compliance with regional and national fishing regulations. MCS data may be of several types, including vessel sightings, boardings and prosecutions. MCS data show a vessel’s history of compliance that can be used to authorise either a port entry or future fishing licences. The use of MCS data in this manner is most effective when there are sub-regional or regional agreements in place to share MCS data. The data are recorded by Fisheries Officers or Boarding Inspectors and submitted directly to fisheries departments.

Port inspection data

Port inspection data validate previously recorded and submitted information, including, but not limited to, licence information, telex data, catch and effort logsheet data, vessel and gear details, as well as safety equipment.

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