The project aims to investigate the spatial distribution of the Swedish trawl fisheries and their associated fishing pressure through integration of multiple sources of information, including VMS and fishermen logbook data.
The ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) increasingly requires spatially resolved fisheries data, and suggests the inadequacy of traditionally aggregated landing and effort data to characterize the actual footprint and impact of the fisheries on the ecosystems. We propose to study the spatial distribution of the Swedish trawl fisheries and their associated pressure through integration of multiple sources of information. In an international perspective, the Swedish fishery logbook provides a unique source of spatial fishery information. We will validate the quality and test the accuracy of the reported information in the Swedish fishery logbooks, which is generally lacking.
High resolution data for better management of fisheries
We will develop and validate a modelling framework in order to integrate VMS (Vessel Monitoring System) and logbook information on the spatial distribution of the fishing effort. We propose to apply hidden Markov models to the analysis of VMS data, and extend this approach through the use of logbook data to draw more accurate inference about present and past distribution of the fishing effort, also before the implementation of VMS. This framework will also be used to produce high resolution spatial estimates of the catches, including by-catch species. This level of knowledge can be readily applied to improve marine spatial planning and for evaluating fishing impacts within an EAF.