Despite the economic and cultural importance of the American lobster, Homarus americanus H. Milne-Edwards, 1837, and Jonah crab, Cancer borealis Stimpson, 1859, fisheries in the US, scientists, managers, and fishers agree that the data being used to assess these stocks
lack sufficient spatial and temporal coverage, particularly in southern New England. The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation developed the Lobster and Jonah Crab Research Fleet to begin addressing these data gaps, and ultimately, to inform the assessment and management of these valuable
fisheries resources. Fishers participating in the research fleet use a specialized tablet application, digital calipers, and wireless water temperature sensors to record information about their catch and the environment as part of their routine fishing practices. Since June 2013, the fishers
participating in the research fleet have collected biological data from more than 109,000 lobsters and more than 49,000 Jonah crabs, as well as coupled bottom water temperatures from the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras. The data collected by the research fleet are integrated into federal biosamples
databases and used extensively in the lobster stock assessment and Jonah crab management plans. This work has improved the transparency of the assessment process, created a community of collaboration among fishers, scientists, and managers, and contributed to the sustainability of resource
management. Ultimately, the Lobster and Jonah Crab Research Fleet provides a model for collaborative data collection programs in other regions and fisheries where insufficient data coverage limits the efficacy of assessment and management efforts.
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Document Type: Research Article
Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation, P.O. Box 278, Saunderstown, Rhode Island 02874;, Email: [email protected]
Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation, P.O. Box 278, Saunderstown, Rhode Island 02874
Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation, P.O. Box 278, Saunderstown, Rhode Island 02874, Spencer Fish and Lobster, F/V Nathanial Lee, 20 Friendship St., Jamestown, Rhode Island 02835
Publication date: 01 July 2018
This article was made available online on 23 May 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Fishers fill data gaps for American lobster (Homarus americanus) and Jonah crab (Cancer borealis) in the Northeast USA".
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The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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