A great piece about ALFA's bathymetric sea floor mapping program, our FCN, and the importance of the Magnuson Stevens Act written by our very own and very talented Alyssa Russell!
"The mapping of the ocean floor, called “bathymetry,” gives fishermen the tools to visualize these complex structures. Because different fish species associate with different seafloor structures,
developing these maps not only results in more efficient, profitable commercial fishing businesses, but also in more sustainable fishing practices."
"FCN members share their data with ALFA at the end of each season....By sharing their fishing spots, catch data, and (in some cases) years of accumulated information with one another, participating FCN fishermen collectively benefit from more efficient fishing. The most recent release of bathymetric maps in 2018 has been the most detailed ever, boasting 140 million data points and maps that reveal previously hidden seafloor structure."
"These maps help fishermen catch their target species efficiently while controlling the catch of non-target species (bycatch), such as rockfish, and avoid the high relief terrain that hosts sensitive benthic species, such as corals and sponge, which are a critical part of the ecosystem. This prevents overharvest of long- lived and tightly managed rockfish species, protects important habitats, and makes our small-boat fishermen more competitive."
Click here to read the full article.
Image courtesy of Alyssa Russell