Prioritizing Candidate Stocks for Recreational Fisheries Enhancement in Florida

Wednesday, September 11, 2013: 2:40 PM
Marriott Ballroom A (The Marriott Little Rock)
Taryn Gainer , School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Kai Lorenzen , School of Forest Resources & Conservation, University of Florida, Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences, Gainesville, FL
Christopher Monk , School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Kenneth Leber , Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL
The state of Florida is seeking to expand its marine hatchery program for fisheries enhancement and conservation purposes. As part of this effort, a systematic process is being designed and implemented to prioritize candidate stocks for hatchery production and fisheries enhancement. The aim of this process is to identify stocks in which release of hatchery fish is likely to serve fisheries enhancement and/or conservation goals. Prioritization of candidate stocks is based on a broad set of criteria, including quantitative modeling of the enhanced fisheries based on stock assessments, likely ecological and genetic impacts on wild components of target and interacting non-target stocks, aquaculture capability or potential and cost-benefit considerations. The process involves five phases: (1) an initial workshop, where selection criteria are defined and assigned weights; (2) a stakeholder survey to solicit opinions on the selection criteria and generate a consolidated list of candidate stocks; (3) quantitative modeling of likely impacts of hatchery releases on fisheries management outcomes for the candidate stocks; (4) ranking of stocks through a web-based stakeholder process; and (4) a second workshop, in which the results of the quantitative prioritization process are synthesized. We present approaches and tools developed for the process and initial results.