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Transforming data into intelligence for fisheries management

Tabia Paul* and Stephen Nimrod

The Gouyave Fish Market Complex is one of the main fish markets in Grenada. It contributes to vast landings of fish, namely, Yellow Fin Tuna, for export to the (US) International Market, contributing to Grenada’s GDP. Fish landings captured at the local Fish Markets are vital to fish or fisheries management and planning, and sustainability. There is little to no data analysis at the Gouyave Fish Market Complex conducted; therefore, it cannot capture trends and patterns within the fishery. The fish market staff records the information on notebooks; electronic documentation is nonexistent. Applying the data analysis and management skills acquired from the Marine Wildlife program at St. George’s University to formulate an electronic spreadsheet template can improve the Gouyave Fishery. The analysis of the data outputs will highlight trends and patterns of fishing, both long-term and short-term, ensuring informed management decisions and sustainability within the fishery sector. Data were extracted from the GFMC notebooks between February- April 2022; a master spreadsheet was constructed using Microsoft Excel to input the data electronically 3-4 hours weekly. I created data outputs and collated them in the datasheet, producing tables, charts, and graphs to depict the information. I Analyzed the data between May- June 2022 using the Excel functions and determined the total capture of Yellow Fin Tuna, the total capture of fish and number of heads, the total capture of fish and number of heads per month, and the total capture per boat, for the year 2020. The data shows Yellow Fin Tuna had the largest total weight of fish caught in 2020, followed by Atlantic sailfish (Ocean Gar), then Dolphin fish (Mahi Mahi). The proportion of Yellow Fin Tuna was 47%, Atlantic Sailfish (Ocean Gar) at 25%, and Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) Fish at 9% of fish captured. However, for the total number of heads of fish landed, data shows that Dolphin fish had the greatest quantity, followed by Atlantic Sailfish and Yellow Fin Tuna, respectively. The vessel with the largest total capture of fish per boat for 2020 was B. I., but the vessel MOM had the largest total capture of heads per boat in 2020. The total capture of fish per month shows that the highest capture occurred in May, followed by March and then April, with the lowest in December. In the total capture of Yellow Fin Tuna and the number of heads, May month had the highest capture. A Comparison graph of the total capture of fish species and Yellow Fin Tuna revealed a similar trend of a high capture in May and a drop in the latter months of 2020. I recommend considering further steps to improve data collection and management and the data grouped into three categories, namely, human capital, Vessel/fleet, and catch data for analysis. 

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