Authors

Serena Scott

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2018

Abstract

In recent years swordfish have faced population declines along the western part of the Atlantic Ocean, specifically of the coast of Florida. Following the noticeable collapse to swordfish, as well as the devastating amounts of bycatch caused from the commercial longlining industry, there was a moratorium implemented known as the East Florida Coast Pelagic Longline Closure banning the use of the longlines within a certain region of the Atlantic Ocean. The closure area has been threatened by potential openings by way of Exempted Fishing Permits (EFP). EFPs are actions that would otherwise be prohibited. If an EFP were to be granted, commercial fishermen would most likely be using the same technique that has been proven to catch juvenile swordfish and bycatch (Watson & Kerstetter, 2006). This study aims to understand the potential impacts an EFP may have on the swordfish fishery. This research uses comparable fishery management and policy techniques, interviews with users, GIS mapping of swordfish data within the study area, and the analysis of data collected from NOAA and The Billfish Foundations. A decision allowing an EFP could have harmful lasting effects and potentially impact how other fisheries are managed globally. It is important to conduct a diverse and well-rounded study on the closures’ impact on the fishery and the potential impacts of an EFP in order to educate users and lawmakers so the best decision can be made in deciding future management techniques.

Comments

Department: MES

MPS Track: CZM

Location: The Billfish Foundation

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