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Research Document - 2013/012

Sentinel Surveys 1995-2011: Catch per Unit Effort in NAFO Subdivision 3Ps

By D. Maddock Parsons


Unstandardized catch rates for Sentinel Surveys in Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Subdivision 3Ps are updated for 2010 and preliminary results are given for 2011. Gillnet catch rates (weekly average number of fish per net) in the most recent years remained low compared to 1996-1998 catch rates. Small mesh gillnets typically catch fish in two size ranges (36-44 cm and 52-56 cm) and since 2000, there have been fewer fish in both size modes. Linetrawl catch rates (weekly average number of fish per 1000 hooks) increased from 2000 and showed an increase in the number of fish at the 44-54 cm size range from 2002 to 2004. Linetrawl catch rates since 2000 have been lower than those in 1995-1997, but showed a slightly increasing trend from 2000 to 2008, but were lower in 2009 and 2010. Catch rates in the both gillnet mesh sizes were lower than average from about 2000. Linetrawl catch rates were lower than average from 1999 to 2005, and average during 2006 to 2010.

Trends in liver and gutted body condition showed a seasonal cycle, with condition declining over the winter and early spring, and increasing again over the summer once spawning has occurred. Annually, trends in condition varied over the time series, but declined from 2007 to 2009. In 2010, there were improvements in condition, although a general decline is evident from about the early 2000s. Both length and weight at age have shown general declines in fish older than age 7 since the early part of the time series.

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