Title: Assessment of demersal reef fisheries in the Commonwealth of Dominica

Author(s): Kurt Arthur Hilton
Final project
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Supervisors: Jónas P. Jónasson
demersal; reef; Dominica; CPUE; mapping;


The overall goal of this research paper was to assess demersal fish species landed in Dominica through (1) Analysing catch and effort trends of demersal fish species from 2008-2019 and (2) Mapping changes in catch composition, fishing grounds and effort of major demersal species. Landings records contained information on 189 species distributed among 47 families. The demersal fish families with the highest proportions included Haemulidae (35%), Lutjanidae (17%), Balistidae (15%), Carangidae (7%), Serranidae(4%), Scorpaenidae (3%), Scaridae (3%), Sphyraenidae (2%), Scombridae (2%), Pomacentridae (2%), Palinuridae (2%), Mullidae (2%), Muraenidae (1%), Monacanthidae (1%) and Holocentridae (1%). The CPUE trends for the four main families varied during the reporting period and averaged 21 kg per trip. Only CPUE for Lutjanidae showed a slightly positive trend, while values for Balistidae, Haemulidae and Carangidae showed a negative trend being most pronounced in Haemulidae (grunts). Further, catch landings have indicated a general decline in landing for demersal species. Exploration of spatial data has identified 115 catch locations and three sites which may require further management. The areas with the highest reported catches included two areas located near the shore on the west of Dominica and one site on the eastern coast. The understanding of the trends and spatial distribution of demersal species can help in planning and managing the development of this fishery. Collection of biostatistical data should be incorporated into routine data collection to determine the true impact of fishing pressure on demersal fish species in Dominica. Knowledge of geographic distribution and catch patterns over time is an important management factor that would ensure the long-term viability of the fishery.

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