Analysis and review of fishery-dependent data for Hawaiian nearshore noncommercial fisheries

dc.date.accessioned 2024-05-14T21:31:31Z
dc.date.available 2024-05-14T21:31:31Z
dc.date.issued 2024-01
dc.description.abstract Noncommercial, shore-based fisheries provide economic, social, and cultural services to communities throughout the Hawaiian Islands. The State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) routinely conducts surveys to monitor noncommercial fisheries such that estimates of fishing effort and catch by gear type can be generated and used to implement more sustainable management practices. DAR executes both the Hawai‘i Marine Recreational Fishery Survey (HMRFS), a nationally standardized survey that focuses on intercepting fishers at access points (i.e., boat ramps) across the main Hawaiian Islands, and a set of roving creel surveys on O‘ahu, Maui Nui, and Kaua‘i that observe and intercept fishers at locations along the shoreline outside of those targeted by HMRFS. The latter set of creel surveys were designed to complement HMRFS by expanding its geographic coverage and thus providing a more representative picture of noncommercial fishing in Hawai‘i. Sustainable management priorities set by DAR rely on the availability of statewide, fishery- dependent data. Thus, we collate information from island-based roving creel surveys into a cohesive Statewide Creel Survey Database. Further, we provide preliminary analyses and describe ways that surveys could be streamlined to improve future data collection, analysis, and utility. In so doing, we synthesize the most detailed information to-date about noncommercial shore-based fisheries of Hawai‘i. The unprecedented spatial and temporal coverage of DAR’s dataset reveals the value of their survey efforts over the last decade to address fishery management needs. Our primary objectives, results, and conclusions are summarized below: 1) Integrate DAR roving creel survey data from different islands into a single Statewide Creel Survey Dataset (Chapter II). We describe the collation of creel survey data from O‘ahu, Maui Nui, and Kaua‘i into a statewide dataset. We also offer ways in which these surveys could be streamlined to meet the needs of managers and decision makers. Briefly, these are to create a statewide strategic plan, standardize the execution of standard operating procedures, centralize the creel survey database and associated metadata, and consider using technology that improves the data pipeline, including transitioning from paper-based to electronic systems for data entry and processing. 2) Assess whether the new Statewide Creel Survey Dataset can provide inputs for length-based stock assessments (Chapter III). Only on Maui were interviews conducted with associated catch data. There was reasonably high taxonomic coverage (42 species from 186 interviews with 310 fishers), but low sample sizes for nearly all species precluded the development of length-based stock assessments. We provide summary statistics from the existing data and briefly discuss how technologies could be used to automate analysis of images of noncommercial catch. 3) Analyze the Statewide Creel Survey Dataset for spatial and temporal patterns in fishing effort (Chapter IV): We found that fishing effort (mean number of fishers observed per survey event at a site) on O'ahu was over three times greater than that recorded during similar surveys conducted on Maui or Kaua'i. We create maps that display the distribution of angling and spearfishing effort around each of the three islands. Fishing effort on Maui was associated with areas with more wave power and less parking availability. There were half as many fishers in areas with parking lots than in areas with parking on the road shoulder only. There was no change in fishing effort on O‘ahu during the first year of the pandemic, but there was a 20% decline in year 2 and a 33% decline in year 3, both in comparison to pre-pandemic levels. Pre-pandemic creel survey data were unavailable for Maui and Kaua‘i, but fishing effort on these islands also declined as the pandemic progressed at similar or greater rates than those observed on O‘ahu. 4) Quantify potential bias in survey methods by experimentally deriving fisher detection probabilities of shore-based and drone-based surveys (Chapter V): We conducted roving creel surveys for four months at three locations around Hilo Bay, designed to emulate and estimate the efficacy of DAR standard operating procedures. There was high agreement between paired observers in counting fishers, leading to near-perfect detection probabilities of both anglers (94%) and spearfishers (97%), but relatively low agreement and detection probabilities of other fishers (throw net, ‘opihi picking, etc.) (52%). We used an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV; operated by DAR staff) to collect imagery of fishers along the Hilo Bay shoreline. We used still images and video clips (with known fishing activity) to build an online survey that was distributed to DAR and HCFRU personnel, asking them to count and categorize resource users as a snorkeler, spearfisher, angler, or other fisher. Only 40.0% of the responses correctly counted and categorized resource users in the image. Anglers were correctly identified and enumerated in 90.0% of the responses, but the correct response rates of the other three user categories ranged from 67.8% – 79.4%. Snorkelers and anglers tended to be undercounted while spearfishers and other fishers were overcounted. 5) Review the potential for incorporating emerging technologies that will improve, augment, and evolve creel survey data collection, especially for spearfishing (Chapter VI). Within the context of monitoring shore-based noncommercial fishing, we review the use of electronic data entry/processing systems with geospatial and image capabilities, field cameras, drones, smart buoys, citizen science apps, data mining social media, artificial intelligence and machine learning. We highlight several of the challenges and considerations when implementing these technologies into creel surveys and provide a synthesis of options that could be used to better estimate spearfishing. The general conclusion of this assessment is that the DAR roving creel survey program is collecting valuable data that supplement the existing HMRFS efforts. However, there are a number of areas that could be improved to make these efforts a more effective tool for decision-making processes in resource management and conservation: 1) Establishment of clear statewide and island objectives for the Statewide Creel Survey Dataset. Currently, data collection efforts are focused towards addressing a very broad purpose – supplementing the HMRFS data collection efforts. However, the results of the preliminary analyses conducted as part of this project suggest that the data could be used to address other areas of need if these objectives were clearly defined. Further, the design of the creel survey would benefit from greater standardization of survey protocols between islands and an effort to define a) the acceptable margins of error associated with the estimates generated by these data and b) the minimum level of change that the surveys would need to detect to be useful to managers. 2) Centralization of data entry, data quality assessment, and data accessibility. Currently, each DAR office manages data entry, checks the data for errors, and is responsible for managing and storing the data. Instituting a centralized data entry system, particularly an online database that can receive survey data from tablets or smartphones running a standardized data collection application would improve efficiency, reduce data entry errors, and accelerate the availability of data to managers. A substantial amount of time and effort from the project described in this report was devoted to checking the dataset for errors. The development and application of data quality assurance protocols would ensure that the data are reliable and available in a timely fashion to support management decisions. 3) Address lingering questions regarding the efficacy of current survey protocols to capture and characterize the spearfishing component of the noncommercial fishery. The results presented in the report suggest that the current creel survey protocols do a good job detecting spearfishers when present but are not capturing sufficient data about their catch or total effort. There are also questions remaining as to whether the survey times and sites are sufficiently capturing the behavior of spearfishers in Hawai‘i. A more thorough assessment – whether through additional research, alteration of survey design, or review of data by representatives of the spearfishing community – would provide insight on how to use the Statewide Creel Survey Database to inform management of spearfishing. 4) Investigate the integration of technological advancements into the creel survey methods. As priorities and needs are developed and formalized, it would be valuable to consider how various technological advancements might enhance and streamline data collection or open new avenues of inquiry.
dc.identifier.citation Raz, L.J.T., T.B. Grabowski, and R. Masse. 2024. Analysis and review of fishery-dependent data for Hawaiian nearshore noncommercial fisheries. Hawai’i Cooperative Fishery Research Unit Technical Report Series HCFRU-002. University of Hawai’i at Hilo. Available online at: https://hdl.handle.net/10790/43603.
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10790/43603
dc.rights http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/
dc.title Analysis and review of fishery-dependent data for Hawaiian nearshore noncommercial fisheries
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