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Shrimp Trawler By-catch Monitoring

Project Description

Beginning in 1999, on-board shrimp trawler studies in the Kino Bay region have been carried out. The study began as an educational experience for students in the Marine Conservation class. Research relative to the economic development of the fishery and the economic and ecological impacts of by-catch mortality resulting from shrimp trawling has been carried out. 

Over the course of the study, photographs have been taken of every species and compiled into a Power Point Catalog to be used for training and onboard reference by observer teams. In 2009, regional taxonomy experts reviewed the cumulative photo catalogue to ensure correct species identification. 

Project Results

Since 2003 by-catch from 55 trawls, on five boats, over 14 nights, during November of 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 has been sampled. In a six year period ending in 2009, a total of 183 species, including 116 species of fish from 55 families, 66 species of invertebrates from eight phyla, and one sea turtle species have been documented. An 85.9 % rate of by-catch was calculated based on data collected throughout the course of the project. 

Results from this study were used to submit comments to INAPESCA for use in the revisions of the Carta Nacional Pesquera. In 2009, data collection protocols were revised and new research questions and methodologies were added to further study the impact of trawling on certain sensitive and/or commercially important by-catch species. The preliminary data from a study in 2009 focusing on certain sensitive and/or commercially important by-catch species showed a statistically significant percentage of juveniles of certain commercial species being landed as by-catch. This study highlighted the strong ecological and economic rationale for by-catch management within the shrimp fishery of the Gulf of California. 


Reports & Publications

  1. Meltzer, L., & Chang, J. O. (2006). Export market influence on the development of the Pacific shrimp fishery of Sonora, Mexico. Ocean & Coastal Management, 49(3-4), 222-235. 
  2. Meltzer, L., Blinick, N. and Fleishman, A. Management Implications of the Biodiversity and Socio-Economic Impacts of Shrimp Trawler By-Catch in Bahía de Kino, Sonora, México (in review)
  3. Research and Conservation Program Report (2007-2011). Prescott College Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies