Most anglers are aware of the many rules and regulations for harvesting marine finfish but many are unaware of the basic information needed to formulate these regulations. In addition to “fishery-dependent” information, such as assessing marine participation or angler success, fishery scientists use “fishery-independent” data to conduct regional and coast wide stock assessments for several marine species each year. These assessments form the basis of the scientific advice provided to managers when setting conservation goals and harvest limits.
For more than 25 years, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (CTDEEP) Long Island Sound Trawl Survey has been a significant source of this fishery-independent data as well as other types of information needed to manage the living marine resources of the Sound. Although originally designed with recreational fishery management information needs in mind, the survey has proven invaluable in such diverse areas as the assessment of hypoxia impacts on living resources, the lobster die-off investigation, and in the National Marine Fisheries Service’s identification of essential fish habitat.
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