Aug 13 2013

New grant to “fill gap” in sardine stock assessment

New aerial surveys of sardines off Southern California will address fishermen’s concerns that sardine abundance estimates are effectively “missing California fish.”

Collaborative Fisheries Research West has awarded a $16,000 grant to a California sardine industry group to help pay for two spotter-pilot surveys. The first survey is being flown this summer and the second will occur in the spring of 2014.

The project’s leaders hope to use digitally enhanced photos of fish schools taken during the flights to develop a scientifically rigorous method for calculating sardine abundances. If this can be done, they will ask the Pacific Fishery Management Council, which manages the Pacific sardine fishery with NOAA Fisheries, to consider including California aerial survey data into its future stock assessments, from which harvesting limits are set.

Read the full article here.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife pilot Tom Evans (left) flies transects while spotter Devin Reed (right) identifies sardine schools, which are then photographed. Credit: K. Lynn/CDFW

California Department of Fish and Wildlife pilot Tom Evans (left) flies transects while spotter Devin Reed (right) identifies sardine schools, which are then photographed. Credit: K. Lynn/CDFW

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