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4. The fisheries survey.

4.1. Objectives of the survey.

4.1.1. Inmediate objective.

To collect data on a number of basic characteristics needed to assess the size and structure of the fishing industry.

4.1.2. Medium term objective.

To create a data base to serve as a frame for other types of surveys to improve figures on amounts landed and efforts exerted and costs and earnings of fishing operators.

4.2. Information to be collected

The following information on the characteristics of the fishery sector will be collected:

4.2.1. Type of data

The following information on the characteristics of the fishery sector will be collected: Fishing.

A) Non Sport Fishing Boats.

- Fishing Sites:Site location, type and size (by number of vessels)
- Fishing vessels:Type and number
- Fishing gears:Type and number
- Fishermen:Type and number
- Fishing Units:Fishing, landing and marketing habits.
- Landings:Quantity, weight and prices by commercial categories

B) Sport Fishing Boats.

- Marinas:Number and location, number of available slips, actual occupancy (number of boats by type and size categories)
- Other Sites:Number and location, number of boats by type and size categories Aquaculture

- Farms:Number, type and location
- Species:Names and production
- Surface utilised for production Processing

- Plants:Number, location, capacity, products, markets, labour force Commercialization

- Buying stations:Number, location, storage capacity, products, marketing habits

4.3. Methods of data collection.

Fisheries surveys known also as “Fisheries census” are an special type of survey in respect of data coverage : the number of basic sampling units and some of their characteristics are ascertained by complete enumeration (census) while others are collected from samples.

The fisheries survey of the Bahamas will cover all areas of the country known from different sources as areas where some type of fishing activity is taking place. For survey purposes the country has been divided in two main areas, big and small islands. Big islands are more populated and economically more developed where commercial, subsistance and sport fisheries coexist. Small islands have population below 1 000 people each, are less developed and present small scale fisheries only. Each area have been been subdivided in smaller units, each of one comprising a main island, adjacent smaller islands and cays (Appendix 1).

Determination of the characteristics of the fishery sector through a survey presuposes the division of the sector (population) into a finite number of distinct and identifiable units known as the sampling units. For our purposes the smallest unit in our population will be the Fishing Site or Primary Sampling Unit where we could find Fishing, processing and Buying Units. A Fishing Site is the geographical point where landings are taking place or sport fishing activities are based. In case of landings a Fishing Site consists of one or more identifiable landing places. A Fishing Unit is composed of a fishing vessel, fisherman (men) and fishing gears; a processing Unit is composed of a processing plant and their operators and a Buying Unit includes cold storage facilities and their operators.

Information on the fishing sites of the Bahamas could be collected using the interview, aerial or ground approach. Selection of the most convenient one must take in consideration data quality vs cost of collection as each of these have its own advantages and disadvantages.

In the first place to ask a person who knows about the characteristics of a particular fishing site as a cheapest mean to collect information will provide data subject to unknown systematic errors and quality of data collected cannot objectively be evaluated.

In case of aerial surveys their main advantage is that the distribution and relative size of the fishing site (in respect of number of vessels) can be known in a relatively short period of time. However, the determination of real number of fishing boats and other site's characteristics requires to carry out ground check surveys in some of the identified sites. Another important disadvantage is the relatively high cost of flying time.

The ground/water approach is most costly in terms of personnel, time and logistic support but it produces more reliable data and the coverage of landing sites is more extensive.

Despite the fact that the aerial approach could appear more suitable to the particular characteristics of the country, its disadvantages and the fact that most of the fishing sites in the main islands are connected by relatively good roads and boat services makes the ground/water approach the most convenient method for data collection during the survey.

Each fishing site that exists in the areas to be covered by the census will be visited by a team of field recorders. A preliminary list of potential fishing sites has been prepared from various sources to guide and assist census recorders in their identification (Appendix 2). Information on number of vessels, processing plants and buying stations at each site will be collected by the census approach (complete enumeration). Other characteristics such as type and number of fishermen and fishing gears, catching, processing and marketing habits will be collected by interview from selected Bahamian vessels. Number of vessel by category to collect information at each site will fluctuate between a minimum of two and a maximum of 20% of the total present at the moment of the survey. Characteristics of marinas situated outside the survey geographical area will be ascertained by mail interviews.

Survey of all areas considered in the study will take place during the same period of time (approximately three weeks).

4.4. Recording forms

Data required will be recorded on several forms that cover characteristics of fishing sites (Form 1.0), large fishing units (1.1), small fishing units (1.2), sport fishing vessels (1.3), processing plants (2), buying stations (3) and aquaculture operations (4). The forms to be used are presented in Appendix 3. Instructions to fill them are given in the manual prepared to train field data collectors.

4.5 Coverage check survey

Coverage check surveys (CCS) main purpose is to detect and estimate the magnitude of the errors, which occured during the field operations of fisheries surveys. CCS are intensive studies based on relatively small samples carried out with the maximum possible efficiency at the end of field operations of such surveys. CCS are intended to detect omissions and erroneous inclusions of fishing sites and other characteristics measured during surveys.

A CCS will be performed during a week in two selected subareas of big islands area and one of small inlands area, representing a coverage of 12 and 20% respectively. For that purpose each island group as defined in Appendix 1 will be divided in a number of subareas of 22–50 mi coast length. Subareas to be covered by CCS will be selected by simple random sampling from a two-stage sampling scheme.

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