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3 Examples of Cooperative Research in Other Countries INTRODUCTION AND PERSPECTIVE Other countries have also explored cooperative research, often in a different institutional setting from U.S. fisheries. The committee heard testimony regarding various cooperative research projects in eastern and western Canada and in New Zealand. This chapter presents an overview of these experiences, including the essential elements of a range of cooperative research ventures. Conclusions that may be applicable to cooperative research in the United States are also provided. SENTINEL SURVEYS: AN OVERVIEW OF SENTINEL FISHERIES IN EASTERN CANADA Cooperative research between Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the fishing industry of the east coast of Canada is in the form of cooperative surveys, mainly as sentinel surveys or sentinel fisheries, which are limited commercial fisheries designed to maintain a continuous record of fishery-dependent data during an otherwise closed period. The primary impetus for development of cooperative research on the east coast of Canada was the closure of most of the major cod (Gad(?~s Moravia) fisher- ies in 1992-1993. The Fisheries Resource Conservation Council recom- mended that DFO put in place programs of"sentinel surveys," or sentinel fisheries, to ensure the continued collection of information for the stocks 29
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30 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE during the fishery moratorium. DFO responded by implementing a num- ber of such sentinel surveys from Newfoundland and Labrador to the Scotian shelf. Most of these were initiated between 1994 and 1996. These surveys were restricted in their total removals from the stocks and followed scientific protocols for data collection. The vast majority of these initiatives are funded by the Canadian government, both through deployment of gov- ernment science staff to design and implement them and through pay- ments to individual fishermen and their boats to execute them. The over- riding principles of these surveys are to determine the overall abundance of cod in specific areas or stocks, often in areas that government trawl surveys could not access (inshore waters and untrawlable bottom), and to involve the fishing industry directly in the scientific assessment process. The sur- veys utilized designs ranging from the use of local knowledge and expertise to monitor local catch rates to formal design with area stratification schemes and consistent survey protocols for all participating vessels to estimate stock biomass trajectories. In addition to these primary objectives, most of the surveys have ancillary objectives, including determining population age structure, fish condition, spawning times and locations, and predator-prey . . Interactions. From 1995 to the present, the Canadian government has invested be- tween 6 million and 7 million dollars annually for a total of about 27 distinct sentinel surveys on the east coast of Canada from Newfoundland and Labrador to Nova Scotia. These surveys involve some 19 fishing indus- try organizations in all five eastern Canadian provinces and represent approximately 30 percent of the budget that the DFO allocates to the stock assessment process. Given this related high cost, a comprehensive review was undertaken in 2001 with a mandate "to provide recommendations designed to position the sentinel fishery (survey) program as an effective and cost efficient component of the groundfish assessment process on a longer-term basis" (Workshop on the Groundfish Sentinel Program- 20011. Although the primary objective of this review was not strictly com- parable to the statement of task for this committee, a significant number of the ancillary findings may provide useful guidance. The following summarizes the conclusions of the review: · Standardized information collection, processing, and storage proto- cols, with clearly defined responsibilities for each partner, offer the most successful approach.
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EXAMPLES OF CO OPERA TIVERESEAR CHIN OTHER COUNTRIES 31 · Data quality assurance through use of onboard observers increases the overall acceptability of the information gathered. · The degree of collaboration in the analysis of survey information was highly variable, with some fishermen partners contributing significantly and others relying on the science partner. Fisherman partners often ex- pressed a desire or willingness to be involved in the analysis of the informa- tlon. · In the majority of cases where cooperative sentinel surveys have been put in place, these have augmented existing data available for the assessment of individual resource status rather than leading to new analyti- cal approaches. In some cases, there were data collected during the coopera- tive surveys that provide new insight into other aspects of the target popu- lations or into the marine ecosystems in which they occur that could lead to new analytical approaches. · Once implemented and established, cooperative surveys (or other cooperative research arrangements) lead to the development of additional cooperative research projects of interest to all partners. There is a tension between the rigorous scientific design and adherence to predefined protocols demanded by scientists and the more adaptive "siz- ing up" approach used by fishermen to determine resource status. This is an important area of discussion and mutual compromise between the part- ners. Achieving a workable balance between fishermen's expertise and a defensible statistical design is essential for the effective implementation of cooperative surveys. The discussions leading to this compromise are most effectively achieved through a process of coeducation. It is through these discussions that ancillary objectives of the survey are established. As an example, the participants in the Scotian Shelf and Southern Grand Banks Halibut survey, which was established to provide a number of indices of stock abundance and condition, soon realized that the observers onboard their vessels and the scientific partners provided a good opportu- nity for them to address a long-standing problem of live to processed weight conversions. The primary issue was that the fisherman considered the con- version ratios used by fisheries managers to estimate live weight (catches) from landed weight (in a number of processed forms) were incorrect, result- ing in an overestimate of live weight removed from the population. The study was designed, carried out, and published and resulted in a change of the official conversion factors, with a resultant increase in available rev- enues to the fishing community (Zwanenburg and Wilson, 20001.
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32 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE The cost of cooperative surveys (as implemented on the east coast of Canada) is relatively high and increases the overall costs of resource assess- ment. However a review of cost benefits for the surveys was inconclusive because it was not possible to quantify either the degree or value of im- provement to the assessment process. It was also concluded that there was an array of intangible benefits derived from the surveys (increased dialogue between fishermen and scientists, improved understanding of assessments by fishermen) that are difficult to quantify. Changes in the design, implementation, and analysis of cooperative survey data are continually proposed by both partners and are indicative of a healthy debate and an open dialogue. There are few voices calling for the elimination of these surveys. Cooperative surveys are likely to become an integral part of the future fisheries on the east coast of Canada. They will become part and parcel of "doing business," and their associated costs are likely to become part of the overhead for the fishing industry. These surveys do not represent an exhaustive list of all cooperative research projects that have taken place or are currently in place for the east coast of Canada; however, they likely represent a majority. There are also a number of cooperative surveys and research initiatives that do not rely as heavily on government funding. GRAND BANKS SCOTIAN SHELF ATLANTIC HALIBUT LONGLINE SURVEY Unlike most other commercially exploited demersal fish, Atlantic hali- but are not a schooling species, making it difficult to derive fishery-inde- pendent estimates of population abundance from standard groundfish ot- ter trawl surveys. In 1998 a cooperative survey to develop a more reliable index of abundance of this species was developed and initiated as a coop- erative venture between expert halibut fishermen and DFO (Zwanenburg and Wilson, 20001. Process anal Discussions Leveling to Establishment of the Survey Although the need for the halibut survey was evident, the process by which to design and implement it effectively and successfully was less evi- dent. From the outset, DFO agreed that the fish caught during the survey would be used as payment to the participants for conducting the survey. In
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EXAMPLES OF COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN OTHER COUNTRIES 33 addition, to avoid conflicts with nonparticipants, halibut caught by the survey was not counted against the total allowable catch (TAC) but was treated as an annual overrun of the TAC. These were key concessions in that halibut has a very high landed value relative to most other commercial fishes ($Can 7.00-13.00 per kg landed) so that the revenue generated by even small (by industry standards) catches would be sufficient to make participation in the survey economically feasible. Allowing the catches to be taken as an overrun of the TAC prevented a backlash from other non- participating fishermen. Since the overrun, at 10 percent of the TAC, is small, its potential impact on the viability of the population is outweighed by the increase in knowledge. Even though the proper climate existed between fishermen and gov- ernment scientists, there were differences of opinion and rivalries among the participating fishing communities. The fishermen, however, were united in their opinion that DFO should not have too much control over the survey and that fishermen themselves should be managing all but the scien- tific aspects of the survey. This ownership of the process eventually united fishermen and allowed them to work together despite regional rivalries. The outcome of these discussions was that the fishermen themselves would manage all the logistics and finances within a separate organization and that the DFO scientists would be responsible for ensuring that the design of the survey would generate scientifically defensible information. DFO regional offices were established to oversee the survey. They de- veloped application forms to ensure that each applicant met the criteria established for participants during the initial deliberations. These criteria included: (1) vessel size and safety certification; (2) fishing history to docu- ment expertise in the halibut fishery; (3) a check of fishing violations his- tory; and (4) a requirement to sign a contract stating a willingness to adhere to survey protocols, including carrying onboard observers for help with data collection and data verification. Vessels were also required to contrib- ute 2 percent of their gross halibut catch value with the coordinator upon settlement of each trip. This fee was applied to all participants, both to pay for the costs of coordination activities and to ensure that no participant would lose money as a result of participating in the survey. It was agreed that these tax monies would be used to redeem at least the money spent (outlay) in participating. A selection board consisting of an independent chair, a representative from DFO (nonvoting), and representatives from local fishing communi-
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34 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE . · . . . · - . ties ant ~ otner community organizations was user ~ to select participating vessels for the halibut survey. Objectives of the Halibut Survey The overall objective of the survey was to develop indices of halibut abundance and to increase the overall knowledge base for this species. There were a number of ancillary objectives, including the collection of informa- tion on conversion factors between processed and live weights of Atlantic halibut, on bycatch, and on oceanographic conditions. Information on predator-prey relationships would be gathered to allow for a more "ecosystem-based" perspective in the determination of halibut stock status. In addition to improving the knowledge base for this species, it was intended that the interaction between fisheries scientists and this sector of the fishing industry would develop effective working relationships between the two groups and, on the part of the fishermen, engender a sense of ownership of the resource and a sense of responsibility for its sustainable use in an ecosystem context. General Design To satisfy both the desires of the fishermen participants to contribute their knowledge and experience in determining halibut abundance and the necessities of statistical rigor, the halibut longline survey was designed as two phases. The first is a fixed station phase using historical catch rates as the stratifying variable, and the second is a commercial index fishery. The fixed station phase was designed to give an unbiased annual estimate of halibut abundance, and the commercial index phase was designed to allow participating fishermen to contribute their knowledge and fishing skills in developing an annual standardized estimate of commercial catch per unit of effort. In the fixed station phase of the halibut survey, the fishing locations and protocols were strictly prescribed (fishing location, number and size of hooks, set time, soak time, etch. All of these sets were to be observed by a certified independent observer. Each participating vessel agreed to com- plete a predetermined number of these sets in return for which they would be allowed to fish a number of"commercial index" days. The only restric- tions on the participants during the commercial index phase were a maxi- mum of 7,000 hooks per day and exclusion from existing closed areas.
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EXAMPLES OF COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN OTHER COUNTRIES 35 Detailed information on catches and biological samples was collected for both phases of the survey. It was agreed that in 1998 all survey activities would include the pres- ence of certified onboard fisheries observers. This requirement was to en- sure that an independent observer could verify information collected by the survey and that the requisite biological information would be collected for all survey activities. The requirement for observer coverage was reduced in subsequent years such that at present all fixed station survey activities are observed, but only a smaller percentage of commercial index sets are ob- served. Captains of participating vessels are responsible for arranging and paying for observers directly. Each year, following the completion of the survey and data editing, results of the survey are presented in meetings with all participants. The results are in the form of maps showing catch rates for both Atlantic halibut and other species of interest and estimates of fixed station and commercial catch rates. Feedback to these presentations is extensive and includes de- tailed accounts of anomalous observations and ancillary information not formally included in the data collection protocols. Conclusions Although the full value of the halibut survey is just now being realized, it has already been immensely successful in increasing the knowledge base for this species and in fostering an effective working relationship between halibut fishermen and fisheries scientists. Keys to the success of this initia- . . . . rive to this point are: · The high landed value of the target species and the use of catch revenues to cover the costs of the survey. · The degree of responsibility assumed by the industry participants, particularly in the management of logistical and financial aspects of the survey. · The agreement on survey design, protocols, and data flows and storage prior to starting the survey, which included compromises by all partners to ensure an acceptable overall product. project. · Regular feedback of results to participants on an ongoing basis. · A willingness by both partners to commit to a relatively long-term
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36 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE In order for the survey to become a reliable indicator of stock abun- dance, it is essential that the survey be put in place with a view to long-term sustainability. A survey such as this begins to pay dividends as an indicator of abundance only when it has been in place for a number of years, with a consistent design. Significant changes in design from year to year will erode the efficacy of the survey as an index of abundance. It was therefore impor- tant that the initial design agreed upon by the participants be carefully planned. The initial frame agreed upon for the halibut survey was 5-10 years. Both the scientists and the fishermen participants realized that a long- term commitment was essential to the success of this venture. First, it is not feasible or appropriate to interpret the results of an abundance survey car- ried out for only a few years. Although it was difficult to convince the fishermen partners of this idea initially, it has now become accepted, and an interim target of five years before significant interpretation of results has been adopted. Commitment beyond this initial period is essential in that there exists no viable alternative fishery-independent method of monitor- ing the halibut resource. Trawl surveys are ineffective at estimating halibut abundance and it is unlikely that the government will develop an extensive longline survey, even if it were financially viable (estimated cost is between $750,000 and $1 million). In the absence of this survey, the fishermen would once again be without an effective voice at the management table, and the management body would be forced to adopt a highly precaution- ary approach to establishing (lower) allowable catch levels in the absence of effective monitoring information. This factor, coupled with the high landed value of the species (making the operations of the survey economically viable) improves the prospects of its long-term maintenance. FISHERMEN AND SCIENTISTS RESEARCH SOCIETY IN EASTERN CANADA There has long been recognition among fisheries scientists and fisher- men that a key to improved management of fisheries is better communica- tion between these two groups. There have been numerous attempts (espe- cially since the establishment of Canada's exclusive economic zone in 1977) to improve and broaden such communications. The closure of the cod fisheries on the eastern Scotian shelf (and the effective closure of the re- maining fisheries because of cod bycatch restrictions) provided an incentive for each of these groups to open a meaningful and effective dialogue to
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EXAMPLES OF COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN OTHER COUNTRIES 37 share information essential to the long-term sustainability of these fisheries. This dialogue resulted in the development and implementation of the East- ern Scotian Shelf Sentinel Survey for cod and other surveys like the halibut survey outlined above and the establishment of the Fishermen and Scien- tists Research Society (FSRS). The FSRS was formally established as a nonprofit organization in lanu- ary 1994 after a year of discussions between fishermen and a small number of fishery scientists. The objectives of the society are to promote communi- cation among fishermen, scientists, and the general public and to establish and maintain a network of fishermen and scientists capable of conducting cooperative research and collecting information relevant and necessary to the long-term sustainability of marine fisheries. The society was formed out of the recognition by both fishermen and scientists that each had valuable contributions to make to the long-term stewardship of living marine resources. A partnership based on effective communication and common goals was a necessary prerequisite to realizing this objective. The early days of developing the society involved lots of discussions in kitchens, town halls, church basements, and bait sheds to build initial bridges and trust between fishermen and scientists, develop some common language, and negotiate common goals. These early steps were necessary to overcome the significant mistrust that had developed between the two groups preceding the fisheries closures. Many fishermen felt that scientists had nothing to offer because they were not fishermen, and many scientists felt that fishermen, without formal training, could not meaningfully par- ticipate in scientific discussions about fish stocks. From these humble be- ginnings, with not much more than a willingness to talk and a feeling that cooperation was better than confrontation, the society evolved. It has now developed into an effective organization that brings the knowledge of fish- ermen into the scientific arena by agreeing on rules of information and that educates fisheries (and other) scientists by making them aware ofthe wealth of knowledge about fish and fishing that fishermen gain by experience. The society was officially incorporated as a nonprofit society in 1994, with the following goals: · Promote further cooperation between fishermen and scientists. · Collect and interpret accurate information. · Protect fish stocks and marine ecosystems. · Contribute to the establishment of a more sustainable fishery. · Contribute to the viability of coastal communities.
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38 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE · Become a financially self-sustaining, nonprofit organization over the long term. · Further educate all involved in the society. · Perpetuate livelihoods as fishermen. The formal objectives of the society were debated ancl finalized at the first annual general meeting (1994) ancl are: · To establish ancl maintain a network of fishing industry personnel to collect information, for use by members of the FSRS, relevant to the long-term sustainability of the marine fishing industry in the Atlantic region. · To facilitate ancl promote effective communication among fisher- men, scientists, ancl the general public. · To participate, as appropriate, in research projects of other agencies ancl institutions that require the collection of information relevant to fish- . . . cries anc ~ marine environmental monitoring. · To generate revenue, where possible, from activities related to infor- mation gathering, sample collection, ancl environmental monitoring to pro- mote the continuation of the FSRS. · To analyze ancl disseminate information generated through the ac- tivities of the FSRS. · To facilitate the provision of training to members of the FSRS as may be necessary or desirable in carrying out the objectives of the FSRS. · To avoicl, by action or inaction on the part of the FSRS, the percep- tion that the FSRS is a lobby group representing the interests of either the fishing industry or the scientific community over that of the lons,-term sustainability of the fishery as a whole. It must be emphasized that the FSRS is not a fisheries management body or a lobby organization ancl will not represent the interests of one fishing group over another. The society cloes, however, inform manage- ment bodies through the information it collects ancl the research it uncler- takes. As such it has provided significantly improved information for both finflsh ancl invertebrate resource management. The society has also formulated a code of ethics to which all members have agreed to aclhere. The code states that: · Members must collect ancl report as much relevant ancl accurate information as possible, according to instructions ancl requirements.
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EXAMPLES OF COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN OTHER COUNTRIES 39 · All information and data collected under the auspices of the society remain the property of the society, not withstanding any access granted to individuals for interpretation and analysis. · Conclusions presented in any products other than society products must include a disclaimer to the effect that the interpretation and conclu- sions reached by the person preparing the product, be he/she a member, nonmember scientist, or other group or individual, when analyzing the society's data are not necessarily those of the society. . Members, nonmember scientists, or other groups or individuals given permission to analyze the society's data must first present their con- clusions to the society. Members, nonmember scientists, or other groups or individuals analyzing the society's data must acknowledge the society as the source of the data. · Members shall communicate, educate, and promote, wherever and whenever possible, the nature and importance of the responsible commer- cial fishing industry in Atlantic Canada. . Members shall not compete with the society for contracts. · Members shall constantly act with fairness and integrity in dealing with clients and employees. · Members shall conduct themselves in a professional and dignified manner and relate to others with courtesy and respect. · Members must declare any potential conflict of interest, whether real or perceived. At present the society has over 200 members throughout Atlantic Canada and elsewhere. The society manages a comprehensive annual sur- vey of fishes on the eastern Scotian shelf and is involved in a wide range of research projects in collaboration with the DFO, nongovernmental organi- zations, and universities in the region. Projects include collection of detailed information on fishing practices, catch rates, species composition of catches, fish condition factors, and information on fish diets essential to under- standing their roles in marine ecosystems as a whole. The society is also conducting studies to determine levels of lobster recruitment (the number of young lobsters produced each year), seasonal changes in lobster weights, and whether lobsters from different areas grow at different rates. Society members also collect information on sightings of leatherback turtles. These are only some of the projects being carried out under the society's auspices. From small beginnings the society has developed into an organization that provides an effective forum for fishermen, scientists, and others with
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40 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE an interest in the long-term stewardship of marine resources to meet and deliberate in a collegial and nonconfrontational manner. It has built bridges between people who should have been collaborating from the outset and who now face the challenges of the future as partners. The most important attribute of the society is that it provides a nonconfrontational forum in which fishermen, scientists, and other profes- sionals can discuss and debate issues of common interest. Over time it has evolved into an organization that responds to the input of all members by facilitating goal-oriented research of interest to both parties and prerequi- site to developing a long-term sustainable fishing industry on the east coast of Canada. The society has and continues to struggle to maintain an adequate funding base with which to further its objectives but demonstrates a tenacity derived from its members, who recognize its long-term importance. The formal structure of the society consists of a number of elected unsalaried officers who act as a decision-making executive. The executive consists of a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, chairs of the sci- entific program committee, communications committee, and a number of directors at large whose purpose is to survey the opinion of the members as to societal activities and projects. The scientific program committee was established to help fisherman and scientist members formulate, articulate, and design projects of mutual benefit to all members and consistent with the objectives of the society. The communications committee was in turn established to ensure that information from the general operations of the society and, more particularly, on the results of society (and related) projects was communicated to the membership. There are four main vehicles for communication. The first is a quarterly newsletter (Hook, Line and Thinker) distributed to all members and to an additional 1,000 subscribers in North America and abroad. The second is the Science Forum, held each year in conjunction with the annual general meeting of the society. The Science Forum now has an array of scientific presentations based either on original research carried out by society members or in areas of general interest to society members. It has attracted international participation, and this year's forum included a substantial poster session that consisted of short commu- nications based on society research. Third, there is a Web site that contains detailed information on the society and its activities. Finally, society staff annually conduct a series of community meetings in which the results of research projects of interest to the participating communities are presented and discussed. From the outset it was the objective of the society to become finan-
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EXAMPLES OF COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN OTHER COUNTRIES 41 cially independent. This has not been achieved, and the most significant challenge for the long-term viability of the society remains funding. At present there is one main source of funding in the form of a management fee, charged to the government of Canada, for administering an annual longline survey of the eastern Scotian shelf. This survey is funded by the federal government to a total of approximately $300,000 per year. The government and the society have entered into a joint project agreement that clearly states each partner's responsibilities and the terms of the agree- ment. Other sources of funding for the society include contract work for the federal government, universities, and the fishing industry, as well as funds from a federally funded science and technology youth internship program. There are also donations from provincial governments, private- sector companies, fishing industry organizations, and donations from members. These revenues have been sufficient to employ a manager for the ad- ministration of society business. The major business activities include: (1) administration ofthe annual longline survey ofthe eastern Scotian shelf, including vessel selection, ensuring compliance with survey protocols, pay- ment to participants, and involvement in data analysis; (2) administration of a federally funded Science and Technology Student Youth Internship Program that provides opportunities for young people (from especially rural communities) to gain experience working in fisheries science projects; (3) searching out sources of funding to support the objectives of the society both in the form of research funds and operating funds; (4) producing a quarterly newsletter; (5) organizing regular meetings of the scientific and communications committees; (6) organizing the annual general meeting including the Science Forum (see above); and (7) managing the day-to-day operations of the society, including personnel management. At present the society remains heavily dependent on government fund- ing to remain viable. This is not an ideal condition in that the operation of the society is essentially at the mercy of government funding, with its in- herent instabilities. This concern aside, the structure, function, and objec- tives of the society provide an effective linkage between fishermen and sci- entists that has aided in the communication between these communities and, as a result, increased the acceptability of resource assessments con- ducted by government scientists. It has also provided a forum for joint research aimed at furthering the objectives (long-term sustainability of the fisheries) of the society. Most recently the society was approached by the fishermen and scientists from the west coast of Canada asking it to consider
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42 COOPERATIVE RESE^CHIN THE NATIONAL MANE FISHERIES SERVICE starting a west coast chapter. Society representatives traveled to the west coast and met with a number of organizations there. The process has now become a more formal feasibility study to set up the west coast chapter of the FSRS. It would appear that the society's objects and structure are therefore not dependent on the conditions and culture of eastern Canada and thus might be a model that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) could explore as a regional model in the United States. The most significant im- provement that could be made if this model were to be explored by NMFS would be to establish a stable funding source. BRITISH COLUMBIA SABLEFISH The Canadian Sablefish Association (CSA) is an industry group com- posed of all license holders in the sablefish fishery in British Columbia. This is an individual transferable quota (ITQ) fishery, in which the average catch over the last 20 years has been about 4,000 tons per year with a market value of about $Can 20 million per year. This was one of the first Canadian ITQ fisheries and is one of the most profitable fisheries on the west coast. Since 1991 the CSA (and its predecessor, the British Columbia Black Cod Fishermen's Association) has been actively involved in cooperative re- search with the Canadian government agency, the DFO. The cooperation is governed by a formal comanagement agreement that specifies the rights and responsibilities of all parties. A series of scientific and management committees are specified, with joint government industry participation on all committees. All decisions are reached by consensus, but the govern- ment, in the form of the Minister of Fisheries, reserves final authority over any conservation decisions and has traditionally set the actual harvest level each year. The primary data collection methods used in the sablefish manage- ment are: (1) an annual tagging program, in which 20,000-30,000 sablefish are tagged with visible tags, and an associated tag recovery-reward system; (2) an annual pot survey to provide an index of abundance; (3) vessel log- books to provide an index of abundance; and (4) biological sampling of fish captured at sea. In addition, there is an annual stock assessment process involving at present two DFO scientists and two consulting scientists employed by the CSA. In addition to these data collection and analysis projects, CSA has been intensively involved in the design and testing of
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EXAMPLES OF COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN OTHER COUNTRIES 43 escape rings, to allow smaller sablefish to escape the pots, and an entrance tunnel design to try to prevent large females from entering. All of these projects are done cooperatively, with all being funded by the CSA and primarily operated by CSA. One government scientist is usually onboard for the survey and tagging programs. Most data collection and preliminary analysis are conducted by consultants employed by CSA, and CSA also funds one of the government scientist positions that main- tains the databases on DFO computers. The CSA-DFO level of coopera- tion is much more intensive than any that have evolved so far within the United States. BRITISH COLUMBIA GROUNDFISH TRAWL FISHERY The British Columbia groundfish trawl fishery is an ITQ fishery with approximately 120 active vessels. Two major changes to the fishery took place in the 1990s. The first was the requirement of 100 percent observer coverage (paid for by vessel operators), mandated in 1993. The fishery is required to retain all catch, and any catch over vessel trip limits is surren- dered on landing, with proceeds going into a research fund administered by the fishing industry. This provided what was then an economically strug- gling industry the economic resources to begin participation in the fishery management process. The second major change was a move from trip limits to ITQs in 1996, which led to substantial economic rationalization and an ~ ~ a. r increase in protltablllty tor remaining operators. The groundfish trawl industry, through its organization the Canadian Groundfish Conservation Society (CGCS), now funds two primary coop- erative research activities. It has instituted an industry-funded and -oper- ated deepwater trawl survey to provide data on the important deepwater species. Industry consultants design and operate the survey, which takes place with government scientists onboard. The CGCS consultant also works within the DFO stock assessment system, including the preparation of annual stock assessments and participation in the stock assessment review process. The initial impetus to industry involvement in cooperative research was the funding available from the revenue derived from landings above and beyond trip limits. Before the fishery was profitable, there was little industry willingness for self-funding research. A final characteristic of the British Columbia groundfish trawl fishery is that there are no ongoing government-funded fishery-independent sur-
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44 COOPERATIVE ~S~CHIN THE NATIONAL M~NEFISHEMES SERVICE veys. Over the last 20 years there have been a number of surveys, but there has been no consistently funded program similar to those in most of the eastern Canadian and U.S. fisheries. COOPERATIVE RESEARCH IN NEW ZEALAND Fisheries research in New Zealand needs to be considered in the con- text of three characteristics of the management regimen currently being used: (1) the system of ITQs and the rights and obligations that these quotas confer on their owners; (2) the requirement on the Minister of Fisheries (MFish) under the 1983 and 1996 fisheries acts to maintain fish stocks at or above the maximum sustainable yield level and requirements under these acts and other acts that cover protected marine mammal and seabird species and also contain substantial ecosystem sustainability requirements; and (3) the recovery of all directly attributable costs from the commercial fishing industry; including all research, management, administrative, and enforce- ment costs. There are several categories of fisheries-related research that are under- taken in New Zealand: · "Required services" are research projects that are undertaken in sup- port of the MFish's obligation to maintain fish stocks at sustainable levels. These services are selected through a research planning process, but the final determination is by the officials of the MFish. These required services include research to address ecosystem sustainability issues as well as fish stock sustainability. · Elective research is undertaken by the fishing industry or the Crown to address issues of importance that are not being addressed through the required services described above. · General marine science research is funded directly by the New Zealand government. This type of research has little overlap with fisheries issues and will not be discussed further. ,~. . . .. . . Mush has little science capacity of its own. There are approximately six full-time staff who operate the research planning and stock assessment reporting processes as well as writing and evaluating the research tenders. They also interpret scientific advice to the MFish. The large cadre of research science staffwho were previously government employees have been devolved (in 1995) to a Crown-owned corporation, which is run like a
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EXAMPLES OF COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN OTHER COUNTRIES 45 business and is established by legislation requiring the corporation to make a profit. All approved research projects are written as tenders and are of- fered to the "best" bidder (as determined by a relatively transparent evalua- tion procedure). In practice, the former government fisheries research orga- nization (now called the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, or NIWA) wins about 95 percent of the contracts. There is an annual cycle that defines the New Zealand fisheries re- search process. The following description attempts to summarize this cycle, but it should be noted that the dates used to characterize each step of the process are only indicative of the general time period involved. Research planning occurs from August to October. This is where the various potential required services projects are discussed and evaluated. All "stakeholders" are free to participate, including the scientific staff from NIWA. These individuals were excluded from this step early on in the de- velopment of this process, presumably because it was thought they were in a position of conflict of interest. But this policy was dropped as it became clear that much of the research expertise was being excluded from the dis- cussions. The final list of potential projects is generally arrived at through a consensus procedure, but MFish always reserves the option of making the final decision on what research projects go forward. The release of the "white paper" occurs in December and lanuary. The white paper is a listing of the specifications for the majority of the approved projects, although other projects may be tendered at different times of the year. Intermediate and final deliverables are specified for every research project, which imposes a high level of accountability on the completion of the project, given that MFish does not pay until the deliverables have been provided. Also notable is that each quota holder is proportionally assessed the costs associated with each project, based on a determination of how each fish stock benefits from the research and the quota holdings. From lanuary to April, fishery assessment working groups are con- vened. This is one of the most important functions of the annual research cycle. Beginning in late January, working groups associated with single spe- cies or with species groupings are convened and the results of previously contracted research are presented. These working groups provide peer re- view of the work and, in the case of stock assessments, also provide consen- sus feedback for work in progress. Scientists and other fishing industry representatives have been active participants in this process since around 1990. They have also directly contributed to the assessment work, either by
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46 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE working on the assessments independently or, more recently, as full col- laborators with NIWA scientists. A fishery assessment plenary occurs from late April or early May. This meeting is the culmination of the working group process where the most important (or contentious) assessments are presented to a wider audience than attends the working groups. This provides a second opportunity to review the work. The final output of the working group process is a sum- mary of the assessment information for each species being harvested in the New Zealand exclusive economic zone, which becomes the main input into the scientific advice given to the MFish. Management advice is given to the MFish from late May to Septem- ber. The Minister needs to make most of his management decisions in sufficient time that they can be implemented on October 1 in each year. The scientific information that is generated through the research process is integrated with other information to provide the Minister with the basis to make informed decisions. This process is long and involves a considerable amount of consultation with all affected stakeholders. However, it should be noted that the paramount concern in the decision-making process is the stock status for the fish stocks being harvested, and in recent years ecosys- tem sustainability is also becoming a consideration in the decision-making process. These sustainability obligations are established through legislation and are an important constraint on the government in making manage- . . ment c recisions. The involvement of the New Zealand fishing industry in the fisheries research process is large and complex, and the fishing industry contributes to the research process at every level. As noted above, the fishing industry has employed scientists to partici- pate at the fishery assessment working group level since the late 1980s. Assessments parallel to those performed by government scientists have been performed since 1990, particularly for hoki (which is the species taken in the largest tonnage). Recently, a cooperative model in which assessment research is done jointly by NIWA and fishing industry scientists has been evolving, particularly in the hoki and orange roughy assessment work, and it is expected that this will become a standard approach in future years. The Rock Lobster Industry Council (RLIC) is in the unique position of being the provider of research services to the MFish, as it won a three- year contract to provide these services (NIWA was the other bidder). RLIC subcontracts the assessment research to three independent scientists, of whom only one works for NIWA. NIWA also has the subcontractual
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EXAMPLES OF COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN OTHER COUNTRIES 47 responsibility to provide sampling technicians for some fisheries. The rest of the research, including a substantial tagging program and a "logbook" program (self-monitoring sampling of the catch), is either administered directly by RLIC or is performed by one of several smaller commercial fishery stakeholder groups. The assessment research was independently reviewed in 2001, with no major criticisms. The fishing industry has frequently commissioned and funded addi- tional research to address issues that it feels are not being properly ad- dressed through the main MFish process. The parallel and cooperative as- sessments described in a previous paragraph fall into this category. As well, various parts of the New Zealand fishing industry have not felt comfortable with some aspects ofthe government-sponsored research and, consequently, have encouraged the development of an independent science capacity in New Zealand. In particular, the orange roughy quota holders have com- missioned independent acoustic surveys to complement those that were required by MFish. These surveys have been conducted by other research institutions from Australia and South Africa using commercial fishing ves- sels as research platforms. In addition, the orange roughy industry compo- nent is developing methods that make use of active fishing vessels to under- take acoustic surveys as part of their fishing operations. The New Zealand rock lobster industry also operates a logbook and catch sampling program that now provides the basic data input to the lob- ster stock assessments. Regional fishing groups employ scientists to design and monitor their sampling program. After making a comparison to the government sampling program, stock assessment scientists concluded that the industry-based program was suitable and indeed more extensive than the government-operated program, and the latter was terminated. The in- dustry-based program was initiated by a small group of fishermen in one part of New Zealand who felt that their fishery was considerably healthier than several others but that, due to the design of the government's sam- pling program, they could not show this. They funded their own program, which successfully demonstrated the health of their stocks, and this pro- gram then spread to regional groups throughout the entire country. There are a number of sampling projects that have been undertaken directly by the New Zealand fishing industry to address their concerns about the nature of the catch in some fisheries. For instance, there was a strong belief within the hoki catching sector that the proportion of small hoki taken on the Chatham Rise was too high to maintain a sustainable fishery. But the level of observer coverage funded through the MFish pro-
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48 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE cess was too low to determine the composition of this catch accurately. An onboard self-monitoring program was designed by the New Zealand Sea- food Industry Council (SeaFIC) science staff to address this issue, and this program has been operating on these deepwater vessels since mid-1999 (over 2,000 length samples representing nearly 250,000 length measure- ments were taken in 2000-20011. Onboard sampling has also been insti- tuted in the orange roughy fleet, and onshore factory sampling for biologi- cal characteristics has also been independently commissioned by various components of the New Zealand fishing industry in snapper, orange roughy, and some pelagic fisheries. In 1991, MFish and the fishing industry agreed to institute a program of experimental quota increases in return for additional monitoring work on some small inshore fisheries. This approach has been frequently used to address overcatch issues in bycatch fisheries, with intermittent success. However, the adoption of these programs has led in several instances to strong onboard self-monitoring programs, as well as improved attention to these fisheries (in comparison to what would have been in place without the program). Several fisheries in New Zealand capture protected marine mammal and seabird species, and the existence of this interaction has led in several cases to substantial amounts of additional research being undertaken by industry. For instance, the bycatch of Hooker's (New Zealand) sea lion in the Auckland Islands squid fishery has generated a substantial amount of population modeling research on this mammal species. A wide range of fisheries scientists have worked on this problem on behalf of the squid industry, including some from NIWA. The interaction with this sea lion species has led to a great deal of industry-funded research to develop ex- cluder devices that can minimize the effect of fishery-related mortalities on this population. Similarly, the bycatch of protected seabirds has led to a number of industry-sponsored research projects, including a project to de- velop an experimental design for seabird population studies and other projects to test the effectiveness of mitigation devices like tori lines and bait-delivering schemes. The New Zealand fishing industry has demonstrated a strong commit- ment to cooperative fisheries research in support of the fishery resource on which they depend. Total expenditures on "required" fisheries services is currently on the order of about New Zealand $18M. The New Zealand fishing industry is probably spending on the order of New Zealand $3M (this is an estimate) on additional fisheries research, including maintaining
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EXAMPLES OF COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN OTHER COUNTRIES 49 a significant science presence at SeaFIC. The distinction between "coopera- tive" and "government" research is becoming increasingly blurred in New Zealand, given that the RLIC and the challenger scallop fishery, which are both industry stakeholder groups, are providers of rock lobster and scallop scientific information for MFish while NIWA is performing significant amounts of work directly for the fishing industry. MFish and the Environment Minister retain the ultimate responsibility for conservation of the aquatic resources and can unilaterally stop any fish- ing action if they believe it poses a conservation threat. MFish in late 2002 closed the setnet fishery on the west coast of the North Island because of bycatch of Hector's dolphin. While New Zealand has not yet found an operational definition of ecosystem management, both ministers can take whatever action they feel is required to protect ecosystems, and this has included setting aside a number of large areas that are now closed to fishing. SUMMARY OF INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE This chapter has presented illustrations of cooperative research in east- ern Canada, western Canada, and New Zealand. The eastern Canadian examples are largely government funded and are designed to provide stud- ies additional to the ongoing government research programs. In western Canada the activities have been industry funded, and the data collection programs provide the core of the scientific activity for the fisheries. The differences between western and eastern Canada are numerous. In the west, the user groups are small, have individual quotas of the catch, and are prof- itable. In much of eastern Canada the individual quotas are not guaranteed and the fisheries are generally overcapitalized. On the east coast of Canada, cooperative research mainly takes the form of abundance surveys, some funded by the government and others funded by fishermen having property rights to the fish they harvest. A review of the government-funded surveys concluded that standardized data collection protocols with clearly defined roles for each partner, coupled with quality assurance through onboard observers, led to more successful partnerships. Information collected by cooperative surveys both augments existing information and provides new insights into the functioning of the harvested populations. Cooperative surveys have also led to the conduct of ancillary research of mutual interest to the partners. These partnerships are likely to become part of doing business in the east coast fisheries of the future. For those examples where the survey is self-funded and where the
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50 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE industry partners had a sense of ownership (of both the resource and the survey), there was willingness to make a long-term commitment. This long- term commitment may have resulted from necessity to have a better esti- mate of resource abundance, vested interest, and the real possibility of eco- nomic losses in the absence of the survey. The FSRS may provide a model to facilitate the development and implementation of cooperative research. New Zealand provides a substantial contrast, where the fishermen have rights similar to those in western Canada, but there is also the legal require- ment of industry funding of all management expenses. This provides enor- mous incentive for the fishing industry to develop its own research pro- grams that are as cost effective as possible. The fact that countries with quota share-based management and cost recovery conduct significant co- operative research suggests that there are economic imperatives due to lower costs, higher quantity and quality of research and management outputs, and/or enhanced value of resource rents and marketable quotas. The west- ern Canadian examples are perhaps the most surprising, where these two industry groups have devoted substantial research programs at their own expense without a legal mandate to pay for the research costs. In both examples the industry felt it would end up losing potential catch without better scientific research a motivation also seen in many U.S. fisheries, but in those where the fishing industry was able to either obtain funds from government or set aside catch to fund the research.
Representative terms from entire chapter: