Theses and Dissertations

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Defense Date

5-8-2014

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

Second Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management

Department

Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

David W. Kerstetter

Second Advisor

James D. Thomas

Third Advisor

Donald McCorquodale

Abstract

Blackfin tuna Thunnus atlanticus, dolphinfish Coryphaena hippurus, and wahoo Acanthocybium solandri currently are not managed under the highly migratory species (HMS) fishery management plan (FMP) despite being biologically highly migratory and co-occurring in major fisheries. A review of past international, domestic and regional management regimes; recent consolidations of FMPs; the re-classification of some species within the FMPs and of the migratory patterns of these three species clearly draws into question the application of the inclusion criteria for the HMS FMP. In order to collect stakeholder opinion on including these three species into the HMS FMP, a survey was launched via online fishing forums. However, only 87 respondents participated in the 2 months-long survey process, with 43 % not even completing the whole of the survey. Aside from refusal to participate, the responses on the forums were that of extreme opposition. So, although the nature of these species certainly qualifies them to fall under this FMP, the reaction from the recreational fishing community would make these changes difficult. Given that these three stocks are not stressed nor overfished, the need to place these species under the HMS FMP may not be the best course of action at this time. Moreover, such an action could potentially hurt the recreational fishing industry by adding additional and unnecessary regulations.

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