Data Collection

DataCollection

Catch and effort data (CPUE) is recorded by each commercial paua harvester. This data (along with other data sets) are utilised in the stock modeling process where a highly sophisticated computer programme models the fishery and predicts what will happen to it in the future.

There is a problem however in that the fishing is happening on a very fine scale (i.e. in one breath you can cover maybe 10 square meters), the data is being recorded on a larger scale (i.e. the total time a diver was in the water during the day and the total kilos the diver caught during the day) and the model is operating on an even larger scale (i.e. it looks at the entire Quota Management Area). The model then produces assumptions / reports and the fisheries managers (Ministry of Fisheries) make their decisions on based at a Quota Management Area scale.

Paua fisheries are extremely variable and paua populations can change in very short distances along the coast. What needs to happen is that data is recorded at a very fine scale and the computer modeling system operates on a similar scale so that fisheries management decisions can be made on an equivalent scale. Ultimately this could result in each paua bed being managed individually but more realistically each Quota Management Area would be broken down into similar stratum and managed at this level.

The paua industry are embarking on a project that will see harvesting crews equipped with GPS data loggers that record CPUE (catch per unit effort) data plus the exact location harvesters are working at.

This is the first step in having data at the same scale as the fishing effort and the ability to manage paua fisheries at a scale appropriate to the fishing effort.

Paua fisheries that are managed on a fine scale will have a far greater chance of maximising productivity and utilisation while at the same time ensuring sustainability.