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Compilation of fishing area maps used in commercial catch reporting in the U.S. Virgin Islands (1974/75 to 2004/05) including subarea conversion factors between maps

Bureau of Fisheries, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Planning and Natural Resources


COMPILATION AND SUMMARY OF FISHING AREA MAPS IN THE U COMPILATION OF FISHING AREA MAPS USED IN COMMERCIAL CATCH REPORTING IN THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS (1974/75 TO 2004/05) INCLUDING SUBAREA CONVERSION FACTORS BETWEEN MAPS Jennifer Valiulis and Jennifer Messineo Bureau of Fisheries Division of Fish and Wildlife Department of Planning and Natural Resources U.S. Virgin Islands February 2005 BACKGROUND The Division of Fish and Wildlife is in the process of identifying and organizing historical data from the U.S. Virgin Islands commercial fisheries. Thirty years of commercial catch data can be used to analyze the health and status of these fisheries. An important element of commercial fisheries data is the catch location or area. Each fishing district (St. Thomas/St. John and St. Croix) has its own fishing area map divided into separate subareas. Commercial fishers are required to record the area they fished on their commercial catch reports. The objective of this report is to document the various fishing area maps for St. Thomas/St. John and St. Croix for the 1974/75 to 2003/04 fishing years. The fishing year is from July 1 to June 30 the following year. Additionally, in order to accurately compare past and present commercial catch data, conversion ratios between old fishing areas and current areas need to be developed. This report presents these ratios and the methodology for developing them. METHODOLOGY Comparison of fishing area maps As part of the identification and organization of old files, hard copies of commercial catch reports were identified. Included with catch reports for some years were maps of the U.S. Virgin Islands divided into fishing areas. Each fishing subarea had its own code. St. Thomas/St. John district had one set of codes. St. Croix district had separate area codes. Fisher information booklets (see Bureau of Environmental Enforcement and

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