Analysis of existing CPUE data from Canadian Commercial ITQ fisheries for the possible integration into run-size models for Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon

The Fraser Panel has expressed concern that catch information from commercial fisheries, and in particular the Canadian purse seine “Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ)” fishery, is not currently integrated into run-size models for Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon. A co-concern is the high reliance on test fishing information, as test fishing catches are a deduction from the Total Allowable Catch (or TAC). PSC staff have indicated that catch or CPUE data from smaller-scale daily “assessment” fisheries could be integrated into Bayesian cumulative-normal models similar to the way test fishing data are currently used. ITQ fisheries may fit these criteria; however the conduct of these fisheries must meet some key assumptions.
This project proposes to analyse the relationship between sockeye and pink salmon abundance and existing CPUE data from Canadian purse seine ITQ fisheries, years 2010-2014. This will entail: 1) obtaining catch data by set and location from individual purse seiners in Area 12 and comparing with indices of abundance by area. 2) Examining the special case situation in Area 29 where ITQ seiners have fished on delaying Fraser River sockeye (2010, 2014) and pink salmon (2013). 3) Exploring evidence for density dependence catchability in the ITQ fishery dynamics. 4) In consultation with PSC Staff, incorporate the above (if useful) within a Bayesian hierarchical methodology. 5) Review compliance with the requirements identified in the Kowal Letter to the Fraser River Panel (2002) and also with the Run-size estimation workshop (2003). And finally, 6) Develop a plan for additional sampling opportunities for the Panel’s consideration for implementation in future years.