Judges’ Queries and Presenter’s Replies

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Presentation Discussion

  • May 22, 2012 | 10:04 a.m.

    Interesting story!
    So how different is the database from the independent assessment to the one made by the government and fishermen?

  • May 22, 2012 | 11:46 a.m.

    Hi Francisco: In the case of the Red Hind Grouper (Ephinephelus guttatus), the information is consistent in both data bases. In the fisheries independent data the average size of the catch specimens has been stable. In the fishermen data base the percentage of the catch composed by this grouper is also stable. Is important to clarify that these results are not conclusive, and as we say in the video appears to be stable and that these results are not consistent with an increasingly overfished stock.

  • Icon for: Glenn Page

    Glenn Page

    May 22, 2012 | 11:41 a.m.

    Quality of fisheries landings data is constantly an issue – around the world – how do you deal with the quality issue and are there implications for longer term adaptive capacity building strategies for reef management as a result of your work?

  • May 22, 2012 | 12:30 p.m.

    Great research topic and presentation Arelis! As you know, Caribbean fisheries are multi-species, multi-gear, multicultural, and data sparse. This is particularly challenging for adopting conventional fishery methods to assess stocks, and particularly for your case, for relating databases created using different methods and different data collectors to portray stock status at different times. How are you planning on addressing this later challenge when you’re aiming to depict a clearer picture of how the red hind stock harvested by fishers from Puerto Real has been doing? How fishing effort (or catch per unit of effort) affects the historical trend of your reported total catches? What role can fishers and their knowledge play in your research?

  • May 22, 2012 | 01:53 p.m.

    Hola Pablo:
    For complementing the available data, we plan to develop an ethnographic research with fisherman, in order to produce some geographic information about the changes in the marine ecosystems of the area, the fishing grounds of some species (Red Hind included) and for recording their perceptions about the historical changes and the effects of these changes on the ecosystems. The finality of the comparison of the available data bases is to explore the possibilities of the available data to be use as part of the research. We pick the Red Hind for this analysis, because at present is one of the most abundant carnivores in the reef and because is an indicator of the presence of reef substratum. In the future I will be developing a catch per unit effort analysis for the Red Hind, but also for the Coney (Cephalopholis fulva), which is one most abundant Serranidae in Puertorrican coral reefs.

  • May 22, 2012 | 12:41 p.m.

    Hi doctor Page: It is a constant issue, but in this case we are fortunate that in this area there is an independent abundance assessment from the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program (SEAMAP). Thanks’ for your comments.

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Icon for: Arelis Arocho-Montes


University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras
Years in Grad School: 3

Change in Grouper (Serranidae) Stocks in Puerto Real, Cabo Rojo (Puerto Rico): A Test of Two Databases

This assessment focuses in documenting and interpreting the status of fish stocks of the Serranidae family in landing areas used by commercial fishermen in Puerto Real, a coastal locality in the municipality of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. Two different Governmental data bases have been used with the aim of determining the feasibility of cross comparison for analyzing temporal and spatial variability of fish stocks and catchin the selected area. This exercise is part of an on going dissertation research which intends to reveal some specificities of the interplay between human behavior and the evironmental factors as the central explanation for the known decrease of coral reef fish stocks in Puerto Rico. Various general explanations previously suggested for the decrease of fish stocks in the island are the loss and degradation of habitats, overfishing, and climate change. In order to propose fresh interpretations on this matter, our on going dissertation research will be integrating, among other things, independent abundance assessment using the SEAMAP (Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program, National Marine Fisheries Service) data base and the commercial catch statistics collected by the FRL (Fisheries Research Laboratory, Department of Natural and Environmental Resources). These results will test the viability of using different data bases and statistical procedures for further research phases of the dissertation plan.