Questionnaire Data Reveal Spatiotemporal Patterns of Fishing Effort in Eastern Long Island Sound

Monday, August 18, 2014
Exhibit Hall 400AB (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Deena A. Anderson , Tetra Tech, Inc., Manchester, NH
Brian Dresser , Tetra Tech, Inc., Manchester, NH
Susan Buchanan , Tetra Tech, Inc., Manchester, NH
The marine resources of eastern Long Island Sound were characterized using a fishing activity questionnaire.  Fishing activity questions were developed to discern locations of high activity while maintaining a fisherman's anonymity.  The 22-question survey was offered online, by mail, or by phone.  Commercial, charter, and recreational fishermen were solicited to participate primarily through fishing associations, online message boards, and social media.  Survey data was then analyzed to better understand areas of both biological and socioeconomic importance within eastern Long Island Sound.  Results were analyzed within the context of five different fishery groups: commercial lobster, commercial mollusk, commercial finfish, charter/party boat, and recreational.  In total, 229 fishermen's responses were analyzed for spatial and temporal trends in fishing effort.  Many fishermen observed decreases throughout their careers in both the size and quantity of their catch.  Effort peaked in the summer months for all fisheries except commercial mollusk, which peaked in November.  The majority of fishing activity was concentrated in the eastern and southwestern portions of the study area, with the least fishing activity in the northwest portion.  The results summarize differences in fishing effort, species, and fish size; this information may be useful in decision making processes and management of marine resources.