| Report from Hawaii bottomfish commercial fishery data workshops, 2015-2016 - :17543 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
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Report from Hawaii bottomfish commercial fishery data workshops, 2015-2016
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    "The challenges surrounding the robustness and utility for scientific and management purposes of the Hawaii Department of Aquatic Resources (DAR) commercial data have been known for some time. There are issues with both data quality and data structure that affect its utility for management and stock assessments. Reporting requirements and data forms have changed over time. Scientists in the region have made multiple attempts over decades to refine DAR commercial data for stock assessment purposes. Starting at least in 1982, scientists have attempted to conduct stock assessments on Deep 7 bottomfish and, in doing so have applied analyses to address data quality and structure issues (Ralston & Polovina 1982). Many other attempts to resolve data issues have taken place over the iterations of stock assessments since then, and not all are described here. More recently, in 2004, the review, synthesis, and analysis of existing data were identified as a high priority at a series of stock assessment workshops convened to assess current bottomfish and coral reef fish assessment and data collection methods. Since then, various meetings continued to be held to discuss, identify, and resolve ongoing data issues, including a commercial catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) workshop in 2008 (Moffitt et al., 2011). Overall, DAR has made efforts at improvements in data collection and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) has continued analyzing and exploring the DAR commercial data through multiple iterations of bottomfish stock assessments and related analyses. Despite these ongoing efforts, this issue emerged again in December 2014, when NOAA contracted the Center for Independent Experts to conduct an independent external peer review of the 2014 main Hawaiian Islands Deep 7 bottomfish stock assessment which was completed by PIFSC scientists. This independent external review panel had strong reservations regarding the quality of the Hawaii DAR commercial Fisher Reporting System (FRS) data used to calculate input catch and CPUE for the stock assessment. The review panel concluded that although the methods to standardize CPUE and the assessment model were appropriate, the deficiencies in input data quality caused the stock assessment to have serious flaws that compromised its utility for management. In response to these concerns and others, PIFSC organized a series of workshops bringing together participants from the NOAA Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO), the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (the Council), and fisher stakeholders to help understand and resolve these data issues conclusively. This was accomplished by identifying, and resolving, to the extent possible, issues in the DAR commercial data that affect the quality of data on Deep 7 bottomfish for stock assessment purposes. A series of workshops and small-group working sessions were held to facilitate completion of these tasks, with accompanying intersessional analyses. The ultimate goal was to produce a higher quality commercial data set that is deemed acceptable for stock assessment and management use by scientific, management, and user group (fisher) stakeholders"--page 1.

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