Pilot Study to Establish a Logbook Survey for Commercial Blue Crab, Callinectes sapidus Fishermen to Enter Catch-Effort Data in the Waters of South Carolina – Year II
Logbooks have been used as a valuable tool to collect catch-effort and socio-economic data that would otherwise be too costly to collect with state personnel. Response to this project at public hearings has been favorable with multiple Blue Crab fishermen willing to participate. This logbook survey has been modeled after the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ survey. We feel that these surveys in conjunction will provide valuable information about the Blue Crab fishery along the Georgia, South Carolina coast. The implementation of GPS devises will provide spatial data previously unavailable to SCDNR/MRD. Digital recorders will eventually replace paper logbooks and allow for near real-time data acquisition as trip reports could be email to DNR weekly or even daily.
- Initiate a commercial Blue Crab logbook program to collect catch-effort and socio-economic data within South Carolina state waters.
- Use the results of this pilot study to develop a permanent annual assessment of Blue Crab resources.
- Establish a permanent list of commercial cooperators that can be utilized for future projects.
SCDNR personnel will work in cooperation with selected commercial blue crab fishermen. Ten (10) traps will randomly be selected from among all traps fished by the individual crabber. Catch data from these ten traps will be recorded by the crabber on every harvest trip in the provided logbooks or via digital voice recorders. Once a month, SCDNR observers will randomly select crabber(s) and accompany them for the duration of the fishing trip. In addition the data usually collected, observers will collect more detailed biological data, the catch of non-target species, GPS locations and water quality measurements.