Volume 46, Issue 4 p. 170-187
Feature

From Amazon Catfish to Mekong Money Fish: Size-based Assessment of Data-Limited Commercial Inland Fisheries

Samuel Shephard

Corresponding Author

Samuel Shephard

Inland Fisheries Ireland, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin, D24 Y265 Ireland

Search for more papers by this author
John Valbo-Jorgensen

John Valbo-Jorgensen

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome

Search for more papers by this author
Jorge Abadía

Jorge Abadía

Dirección General de Investigación y Desarrollo, Autoridad de Recursos Acuáticos de Panamá, Panama City, Panama

Search for more papers by this author
Claudio Baigún

Claudio Baigún

Instituto de Investigación e Ingeniería Ambiental, CONICET-Universidad Nacional de General San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Search for more papers by this author
Carolina R.C. Doria

Carolina R.C. Doria

Laboratório de Ictiologia e Pesca, Departamento de Biologia, Universidade Federal de Rondônia, Porto Velho, Rondônia, Brazil

Search for more papers by this author
Nidia N. Fabré

Nidia N. Fabré

Institute of Biological Sciences and Health, Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil

Search for more papers by this author
Victoria J. Isaac

Victoria J. Isaac

Núcleo de Ecologia Aquática e Pesca da Amazônia, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, Pará, Brazil

Search for more papers by this author
Peng Bun Ngor

Peng Bun Ngor

Wonders of the Mekong Project

Inland Fisheries Research and Development Institute, Fisheries Administration, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Search for more papers by this author
Mauro L. Ruffino

Mauro L. Ruffino

Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization, Brasilia, Federal District, Brazil

Search for more papers by this author
Simon Funge-Smith

Simon Funge-Smith

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome

Search for more papers by this author
First published: 11 November 2020
Citations: 6

Abstract

Inland fisheries are often complex, spatially dispersed, and seasonal. A lack of monitoring can result in unreliable or incomplete catch data, suggesting a role for assessment methods based on population size structure. This paper evaluates and compares empirical size-based indicators and the length-based spawning potential ratio model as candidate tools for assessing data-limited commercial fisheries in inland systems. Case study applications are presented for a contrasting set of important fisheries in the Amazon Basin (Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru), the Tonlé Sap River (Cambodia), Paraná River (Argentina), and Bayano Reservoir (Panama). These case studies were selected to explore the effects on assessment of factors including lack of life history information, spatial separation of life history stages, modality in population size structure of floodplain river fish, and fishing gear selectivity. An international workshop was organized to bring together experts from the study systems and elsewhere to discuss the results, and to highlight potential issues and caveats. It was concluded that length-based models may work well in cases where size-selective gears are used to target a few larger species with reliable life history parameter estimates. Empirical surveillance indicators are more flexible for integrating quantitative data with local expert knowledge in common data-poor situations. In general, size-based assessment can provide guidance for the sustainable management of target species in diverse inland fisheries.

Data Availability Statement

The data that support the findings of this study may be available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.