PacFIN Brief for 1984

[Complete 1984 PSMFC Annual Report (pdf)]

Status of Pacific Coast Fishery Data Committee Activities and PacFIN

Will Daspit, Pacific Marine Fisheries Commission

The Pacific Coast Fisheries data Committee consists of 14 members appointed by the Directors of each participating agency. The participating agencies are: the Alaska, California, and Idaho Departments of Fish and Game, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Washington Departments of Fisheries and Game, the two centers and three regions of the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Pacific and North Pacific Fishery Management Councils, and the Pacific Marine Fisheries Commission.

This Data Committee has been formed with four goals in mind. The first was to implement and manage a Pacific fisheries information network, otherwise known as PacFIN, that aggregates summarized state and federal fisheries data for use by fisheries managers and associated agencies. Secondly, to provide data management consultation and technical advice to the Council's management teams and participating agencies upon request. Thirdly, to establish priorities and coordinate plans to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and timeliness of the data acquisition and delivery, with a minimum of unnecessary duplication. And lastly, to promote the development and implementation of coastwide data collection standards to facilitate the merging of fisheries data in the PacFIN. Financial support for Data Committee activities is provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service. At present, the bulk of the funding is provided by the Northwest Regional Office.

Since 1981, the Data Committee has met eighf times. At these semi-annual meetings, a wide range of topics concerning coastwide data are discussed and decisions regarding directions and priorities are conveyed to the PacFIN system manager. The Data Committee currently provides direction to four major efforts: the PacFIN research data base, the in-season salmon reporting system, the joint venture logbook project and the PacFIN Management information system.

The PacFIN research data base consists of individual fish ticket and vessel records provided annually by California, Oregon and Washington for 1981 and 1982, with 1983 data to be added in the very near future. This data base resides at the Southwest Fisheries Center in La Jolla.

The in-season salmon reporting system consists of weekly catch and effort data provided by California, Oregon and Washington to a central database. During the season, the National Marine Fisheries Service's Northwest and Southwest Regional Offices, the Pacific Council and the Pacific Council Salmon Team accesses this data base to retrieve the latest salmon catch and effort data.

The joint venture logbook project is a voluntary project initiated in 1983. Copies of logbooks maintained on catcher vessels, or processor vessels, are periodically mailed to the PacFIN manager's office. These data, which contain information about individual tows, are entered/ into a data base at the Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center.

The PacFIN MIS, management information system, is the primary effort of the Data Committee. All of the directives concerning the MIS are implemented through the PacFIN central processing office in conjunction with designated coordinators within the agencies participating in this system. The staff of the PacFIN office consists of a systems manager and a computer aide and is located at the Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center in Seattle. The central data base for this system consists of the latest landed catch and ex-vessel dollar value data for fish landed in the states of California, Oregon and Washington. The latest landed catch information is also provided by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for their domestic fishery and by the Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center (NWAFC) for all foreign and joint venture fisheries.

The data base currently contains information for groundfish species that are managed in the Pacific and the North Pacific Fishery Management Councils' Groundfish Plans. All four states submit their data on a monthly frequency, while the Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center provides weekly updates. With this frequency of input, the central data base is refreshed with the most recent information and that information can be provided to fisheries managers as they need it. The system can provide landed catch and ex-vessel prices, where available, stratified by month, species, area of catch, gear, and port of landing.

Reports containing this management information are generated at the PacFIN office monthly and mailed to various individuals. Currently there are 34 recipients of the selection of reports that pertain to Pacific Fishery Management Council groundfish management. Thirty-two individuals receive North Pacific Fishery Management Council reports, while reports that contain information that is specific to California are distributed to 17 individuals, Oregon reports go to 7 people and 6 individuals receive reports containing data provided by the Washington Department of Fisheries.

A large selection of reports are also mailed to the PMFC office in Portland where the staff distributes copies to interested individuals upon request. Some managers use the remote retrieval facility system to obtain particular reports via computer terminals connected to the NWAFC computer system.

Although the PacFIN MIS has been operational for some time, the system continues to be expanded and enhanced. Recent enhancements include: the implementation of a data acquisition sub-system which allows the monthly input data to be transferred directly from the California, Oregon and Washington computers to the central processing office; improved reporting capabilities to support the requirements of the North Pacific Council staff, and the development of multi-year reports which have aided the Pacific Fishery Management Council's Groundfish Team in their efforts to project annual catch for various species.

Projects that are in progress include: Expansion of the system to include an annual data feed containing landed catch, ex-vessel dollar value and effort for the salmon fishery, and merging the PMFC Groundfish Data Series system with the PacFIN MIS, including the incorporation of Canada's domestic groundfish data.