Vessel dynamics of the Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) fishery: examining spatial associations and fishing success
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Fleet dynamics are an important, but understudied aspect of fisheries management. The fleet dynamics of the Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) fishery were examined using two approaches: 1) examining spatial associations based on homeport location, vessel knowledge of the fishery and their impacts on catch rates, and 2) applying an agent-based model to the fishery to examine impact of having pre-season survey information. There were overall higher levels of clustering of vessels who had extensive knowledge of the fishery (traditionals) and the non-traditionals were fishing in similar areas as traditional vessels. Lower levels of clustering were observed among the non-traditional vessels. There were higher total landings with pre-season survey information. Examining how vessels associate gives insight into fleet dynamics, which may be important in management decisions.