New snapper, grouper report details data collection suggestions
The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) has released a new report detailing the status and trends effecting the snapper and grouper seafood sectors as well as recommendations regarding how the sectors can improve with respect to basic data collection and management.
The report, which is based partially on data collected from the SFP’s fisheries database FishSource, was unveiled at the Seafood Expo North America (SENA) in Boston on 6 March. Although the report outlines a continual increase in landings of snapper and grouper since the 1950s, many stocks of the species are not being properly tracked, SFP Fisheries Analysts Patricia Amorim and Megan Westmeyer found. Especially when it comes to some developing countries, making a full assessment of global snapper and grouper stocks difficult, if not impossible, argued the report.
“Snapper and grouper are very important to fishing communities around the world, but little science and management is available to ensure the long-term sustainability of those fisheries,” Westmeyer said. “The US market is a major consumer of these products, and thus can be a catalyst for fishery improvement efforts.”
The report suggests that fisheries, buyers and other members of the supply chain practice the following strategies:
- Initiate species-specific harvest data collection
- Improve reporting of harvest data to the FAO
- Ensure a fishery management plan is in place
“Many snapper and grouper are in need of the most basic data collection and management efforts,” Westmeyer concluded. “The seafood supply chain can help their producers implement data-gathering programs, but can also reach out to national government to emphasize the need for fishery-wide scientific research and management.”