Time and again throughout this Symposium we have heard from various speakers of the concern they have over the reliability of catch data. The future of any fishery is dependent on the knowledge of its stocks, much of which has to be built up from data on catch figures, recruitment estimates and fishing effort levels. The problems of catch data collection were particularly well highlighted by Graeme Harris who referred to change in methods for data collection and how it was found that in some instances the true catch was 300–400 per cent greater than the declared catch. I am sure a number of us can recall instances which revealed Inaccurate records being submitted to the appropriate authorities. However, I cannot agree with his remarks that the annual catch figures he depicted for Wales are entirely meaningless. Even if they are underestimates, they will still be of some value in indicating years of scarcity and abundance. The series of catches over long periods described by Geoff Power and Alex Bielak confirm the value of even incomplete records in revealing significant trends.
KeywordsCommercial Fishing Catch Data Wild Salmon Catch Statistic Illegal Fishing
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