2015 Pilot Party and Charter Vessel Mapping Study
As new developments are proposed in Northeast US waters, such as offshore wind energy and ocean aquaculture, there is a need to better understand use patterns of regional party and charter fishing activities to anticipate and avoid potential use conflicts. In addition, accurate and timely fisheries- dependent information is important to fisheries managers for effective management of fish stocks; electronic reporting systems offer to reduce the reporting burden on fishers and improve efficiency and accuracy of data collection. Through a collaborative effort among the Northeast Regional Planning Body (NERPB), state and federal fisheries officials, the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP), SeaPlan, George Lapointe Consulting, Harbor Light Software, and party and charter fishing industry members (interchangeably referred to as the for-hire sector), project partners conducted a small- scale pilot study in 2015 to explore potential methods for characterizing the sector’s activity. During the study, project partners worked to advance electronic reporting systems for the sector, ultimately leading to the certification of SAFIS eTRIPS Mobile software for use in federal fisheries reporting.
This report describes the project team’s methods, presents a selection of the location data collected, and summarizes key lessons learned during the pilot study.