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Fishery Statistics

Fishery statistics is not only a science of numbers but also historical records of fishery development. The group patterns of fishing activities could be revealed through long term data compilation and statistics analysis. The FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries indicates that “States should ensure that timely, complete and reliable statistics on catch and fishing effort are collected and maintained in accordance with applicable international standards and practices and in sufficient detail to allow sound statistical analysis. Such data should be updated regularly and verified through an appropriate system. States should compile and disseminate such data in a manner consistent with any applicable confidentiality requirements.” To comply with the international standard on fishery statistics, this council is entrusted by the Government of Taiwan to conduct far sea fisheries data collection and compilation program since 1996. Up to the present, there have been major achievements accomplished, including:

1.Annual catch estimates of tuna and squid fisheries

The total catches represent the overall outputs of fishing industry, which are the most important figure records in fishery history and also the vital information for government to assist the development of fishing industry. The annual catch estimates are the essential assignments of fishery statistics. To conduct the annual catch estimates, the statisticians of this council compile varied commercial data of fisheries to estimate the annual catch by species of large and small scale tuna longline fisheries, tuna purse seine fishery, squid jigging fishery and saury fishery; the data compiled includes import records of market states, statistical documents, transaction declarations of catches, trading records of brokers, trading records of domestic fish markets and weekly reports of individual fishing vessel.

2.Construction of centralized database system

Fishery data includes diverse types of data, which includes logbook data, trading data and biological data. Detailed and accurate fishery data not only can reflect the temporal and geographical distribution of fishing activities, but also is the vital information for stock assessment of interested fish species. To manage the fishery data collected, the statisticians of this council have already constructed database system of large and small scale longline fisheries, tuna purse seine fishery, squid fishery and saury fishery respectively. All fishery data has been processed through error detection and correction procedure with program before compiling into the database.

3. Experience exchanges with foreign research institutes and data provision to RFMOs

In order to strengthen the capacity on data processing of this council statisticians are dispatched to the relevant international organizations as interns for learning the procedures of data collection and processing, as well as the data management rules. Besides, this council also invites foreign specialists in fishery statistics to share their experiences on fishery data processing to enhance the data processing ability of this Council.

To fulfill the obligations to RFMOs, this council provides fishery data as required by the relevant RFMOs , and the statisticians of this council also attend scientific meetings of RFMOs to interpret the fishing activities of Taiwanese fishing vessels and fishery data collection.

4.Real-time reporting and processing system of fishery data

This council has developed electronic -logbook (e-logbook) reporting and processing system, which have been applied to the bigeye tuna fishing fleets operating, in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the squid and saury fishing fleet. The fishery data is transmitted through satellite from fishing vessel in a real time manner. The statisticians of this council compile the e-logbook data weekly and provide to the government as management information.