Big game fishing in the northern Gulf of Mexico during 1981
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Big game fishing in the northern Gulf of Mexico during 1981

Filetype[PDF-1.91 MB]


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    "Big game fishing for oceanic pelagic fishes (i.e., marlins, sailfish, swordfish, tunas, etc.) was a relatively infrequent event in the northern Gulf of Mexico prior to the mid-1950s. Research by the federal government contributed to the increase in popularity of this activity. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted exploratory longline fishing off the Louisiana coast in the mid-1950s to determine the abundance of tuna stocks. The longline catches included impressive numbers of blue marlin, Makaira nigricans, and white marlin, Tetrapturus albidus, which intensified the interest in recreational big game fishing. This new recreational fishery continued to expand throughout the northern gulf coast area in the 1960s and 1970s. In the late 1960s, the federal government began preliminary investigations from their Panama City, Florida laboratory to gather information about this oceanic pelagic fishery resource in the northern gulf. In 1970-71, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) began a study of the distribution, abundance,biology, and ecology of billfishes (i.e., marlins and sailfish, Istiophorus platypterus). In 1972, responsibility for this study was transferred to the Miami Laboratory, Southeast Fisheries Center (SEFC). In 1977, responsibility for data collection was assigned to the Fishery Surveys Task of the SEFC's Office of Technical and Information Management Services. The best (i.e., cost per data unit) means of data collection was determined to be a public-contact survey. Since 1970, port samplers have interviewed big game fishing participants to obtain data concerning catch and effort (i.e., hours fished); weather conditions; types of bait; fishing area (latitude and longitude); fish weight, length, and sex. In return for the cooperation given by charter boat captains, members of big game fishing clubs, and individual sport fishermen, the investigators promised to analyze the data and present' the results in a report to them. Analyses in this report are to answer some of the most frequently asked questions"--Introduction.
  • Content Notes:
    Paul J. Pristas.

    Also available online in PDF format via the NOAA Central Library.

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