This article provides information on the number of sharks caught (landings) by recreational anglers and commercial harvesters.
How are recreational fisheries catch-estimates made?
The National Marine Fisheries Service's Marine Recreational Fishery Statistics Survey (MRFSS) estimates recreational saltwater catch and fishing effort. This survey is conducted in nearly all coastal states and has been gathering data on saltwater recreational fishing since 1979. The MRFSS is composed of two separate surveys; one survey collects catch information and the other counts the number of fishing trips made.
Data on catch-composition (types and numbers of fish caught, kept and released, and measurements of fish kept) by fishing mode (shore, private boat or charter boat) are collected by interviewing saltwater anglers at the end of their fishing trips. The number of fishing trips made over a two-month period is obtained through random sampling by telephone of Florida residents. Estimates of the total catch of saltwater fish for each two-month period are then calculated from the catch-composition data collected by the field interviews and the number of saltwater fishing trips reported by Florida residents. Improved methods to estimate the catch and effort of anglers fishing from charter boats are now being used in Florida. The better method resulted from of a 1997-1998 research study conducted for the MRFSS by biologists from Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission with the cooperation of charter boat captains.
Biologists with the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) have conducted the field portion of the MRFSS throughout Florida since 1999. The telephone survey portion is done by a contractor to the MRFSS. In 2000, FWRI interviewed over 44,200 saltwater anglers (both residents of and visitors to Florida), measured more than 55,000 fish, and made over 12,000 telephone calls to charter boat captains to help produce the data necessary for the Florida catch-estimates. The contractor conducting the telephone survey contacted over 92,000 Florida households in 2000 to collect information on the number of saltwater fishing trips made by Florida residents.
Recreational Shark Catch-West Coast of Florida (89.3 KB PDF)
Recreational Shark Catch-East Coast of Florida (60.6 KB PDF)
Recreational Shark Catch by Species (53.3 KB PDF)
How are the commercial fisheries catch-data obtained?
Since 1986, Florida has used a mandatory reporting system to collect the marine fisheries catch and effort data used to monitor commercial fisheries in the state. Every time an angler sells saltwater fish, shellfish or other marine life to a wholesale dealer, the dealer records the transaction on a marine fisheries trip ticket and sends the ticket to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. During 2000, dealers sent over 300,000 marine fisheries trip tickets to the FWC. These data are compiled at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute for use in assessments of marine fish and invertebrate populations and for analyses that are useful for the management of fisheries. Other states in the southeastern U.S. have implemented trip ticket systems or are developing these systems for future implementation.
Commercial Shark Harvest by Area (88.6 KB PDF)
Commercial Shark Harvest by Species (53 KB PDF)
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