Reducing effort in the U.S. American lobster (Homarus americanus) fishery to prevent North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) entanglements may support higher profits and long-term sustainability

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2019-11-27
Authors
Myers, Hannah J.
Moore, Michael J.
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10.26025/1912/24901
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Keywords
Bycatch
Fisheries management
North Atlantic right whales
Overfishing
Fishing technology
Ropeless fishing
Abstract
Supplemental data for Reducing effort in the U.S. American lobster (Homarus americanus) fishery to prevent North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) entanglements may support higher profits and long-term sustainability. Figure 5: Estimated North Atlantic right whale population, number of calves, observed mortalities and serious injuries, and diagnosed cause of death or serious injury. Diagnosed entanglements have increased significantly since the population has been in decline. Data from Waring et al. 1997, Kraus et al. 2001, Waring et al. 2002, Moore et al. 2004, Waring et al. 2015, Pace et al. 2017, Pettis et al. 2018, Hayes et al. 2018b, and NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center (unpublished). Figure 15: Maine and Nova Scotia (NS) Maritimes lobster landings and landings per trap from 1990 to 2017. While NS Maritimes landings per trap mirrored landings growth, Maine landings per trap remained relatively stagnant for the majority of this period. Data from DFO Seafisheries Landings, DFO Atlantic Region Licences, DFO Integrated Fisheries Management Plan for LFAs 27-38 (2011), NMFS Annual Commercial Landings Statistics, and Maine Department of Marine Resources Historical Maine Lobster Landings. Figure 16: Maine lobster landings per trap, number of traps (an upper bound indicated by the number of trap tags sold), and total landings weight from 1986 to 2017. Landings per trap were relatively stagnant except from 2007 to 2013, when landings per trap increased substantially year on year, correlating with a decrease in the number of traps and faster rate of growth in total landings. Data from National Marine Fisheries Service Annual Commercial Landings and Maine Department of Marine Resources Historical Maine Lobster Landings. Figure 18: Annual lobster landings weight, in millions of pounds, for Massachusetts Statistical Reporting Areas (SRAs) 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 from 1990 to 2017. Vertical line indicates the start of the Massachusetts Restricted Area Trap/Pot Closure in 2015. The Massachusetts Restricted Area Trap/Pot Closure includes all of SRAs 6, 7, 8, and 9, as well as most of SRA 5 and small portions of SRAs 18 and 19. Data from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (unpublished). Figure 20: American lobster commercial landings weight standardized to 1990 in the primary Statistical Reporting Areas (SRAs) covered by the Massachusetts Restricted Area (SRAs 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9) and the rest of the state of Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Restricted Area seasonal trap/pot fishery closure took place on February 1st, 2015. Data from Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (unpublished) and National Marine Fisheries Service Annual Commercial Landings Statistics. Figure 21: Lobster landings weight in the Statistical Reporting Areas (SRAs) covered by the Massachusetts Restricted Area (5-9) and to the north (1-4) and south (10-14) from 1990 to 2017. Relative growth in landings in SRAs 5 to 9 was stronger than in neighboring areas since the closure was implemented. Vertical line indicates the start of the three-month closure in 2015. Data from Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (unpublished). Figure 23: Lobster landings value in February, March, and April from Massachusetts Statistical Reporting Areas 5 to 9, 2005 to 2018. Landings value from these areas dropped approximately $94,000 from the period immediately before to the period immediately after the closure was implemented. Vertical line indicates the start of the Massachusetts Restricted Area trap/pot closure in 2015. Landings value calculated by multiplying landings weight for each area by average price for Massachusetts for that month and year. Value is nominal and not adjusted for inflation. Data from Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (unpublished).
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