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Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science


Deep demersal fisheries in Indonesia yielded close to 90,000 metric tons of snapper and grouper in 2019, landed by a fleet of approximately 10,000 fishing boats. Prior to the present study, information on these multi-species, dispersed, small- to medium-scale fisheries was scarce, while reliable species-specific data on catch and effort were non-existent. This data-deficiency made stock assessments and design of harvest control rules impossible. We developed a new data collection method, the Crew Operated Data Recording System (CODRS), to collect verifiable species- and length-composition data from catches across all segments of the fleet. CODRS engaged crews of 579 fishing vessels to take pictures of each fish in their catch, in combination with the deployment of a tracking device on their boats. Furthermore, we also conducted a frame survey to map the fleet across the entire Indonesian archipelago. Using more than 2 million CODRS images, we aimed to understand the basic characteristics and challenges within the fishery. We updated life-history parameters for the top 50 species in the fishery based on the maximum observed length-frequency distribution of the catch (i.e., asymptotic length, size at maturity, optimum fishing length, total mortality, and spawning potential ratio). Length-based stock assessments using the updated life-history parameters showed high risks of overfishing for most of the major target species, especially for snapper species with large maximum sizes. Our results indicated that effective management and harvest strategies are urgently needed across Indonesia’s eleven Fishery Management Areas to prevent the collapse of these important fisheries.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.