A novel probabilistic survey method for at sea sampling in pelagic fisheries – the Norwegian catch sampling lottery
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionFisheries Research. 2022, 260 . 10.1016/j.fishres.2022.106584
Reliable information on the age- and size-structure of the annual harvest of major commercial fish stocks is crucial input to analytical stock assessments. Such information is usually obtained from landing data (census of biomass) combined with biological sampling of selected landings. In this paper we describe a novel catch sampling method that we have developed and implemented for the major Norwegian pelagic fisheries that have annual landings around 1 million tonnes in recent years. The new sampling regime gradually implemented from 2018 is based on three pillars; probabilistic sampling of hauls, use of electronic logbook, and co-sampling. By a minor modification of the electronic logbook the vessels in the pelagic fishery now report the catch quantity at haul level immediately after each catch operation. This electronic report is automatically submitted to the Institute of Marine Research (IMR), where a random draw by computer in real time determines if a small sample of fish should be taken from that haul by the fishermen and be frozen and transported to IMR for analysis. Nearly 100% of the hauls annually goes through this “lottery”, and compliance (fraction of samples received) is currently around 60% and increasing. The sampling regime has been operationalized in cooperation with the fishing industry.