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Sampling Distribution of Highly Migratory Species Sports Fishing Tournaments

Offshore fishing trips targeting large pelagic species (e.g. billfish, tuna, swordfish, sharks, wahoo and dolphin) typically make up a relatively small proportion of all recreational fishing trips. As a result of the "rare event" nature of these trips, generalized anglers surveys aimed at estimating catch and effort for all species do not produce very precise estimates for many large pelagics. The current survey design consists of a telephone survey (Large Pelagic Telephone Survey) used to estimate the number of boat trips and a dockside survey (Large Pelagic Intercept Survey) used to collect catch information. This design has resulted in a disproportionate representation of tournament catch data. This project was implemented to evaluate potential biases associated with sampling tournaments and to recommend new approaches. The outcome will be improved accuracy, precision and reliability of large pelagic recreational fisheries data.

Evaluation of the Sampling Distribution of Tournament Versus non-Tournament Trips in the Large Pelagic Survey

Executive Summary



Project Information:
  • Location
  • US tournaments along the Atlantic from Maine to Virginia
  • Date
  • June 2008 - May 2009
  • Lead coordinator
  • Sarah Young

    HMS Fish