Standardizing commercial CPUE data in monitoring stock dynamics: Accounting for targeting behaviour in mixed fisheries

F.J. Quirijns, J.J. Poos, A.D. Rijnsdorp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Catch per unit effort (CPUE) is commonly used as an indicator for monitoring developments in stock size. To ensure proportionality between average CPUE and total stock size, two processes that should be accounted for are the degree of targeting behaviour of the fleet and the management-induced responses in fishing behaviour. We studied the effect of restrictive individual quotas and targeting behaviour on average CPUE in the Dutch beam trawl fleet. Fishing opportunities varied in time and across species due to changes in quotas. Using catch and effort data by fishing trip of the total fleet and haul-by-haul data from a reference fleet, targeting behaviour of the beam trawl fleet was quantified for sole and plaice, at various space and time scales. Sole was targeted on all scales examined, whereas plaice was only targeted on a micro-scale of 10 × 10 nautical miles. When sole quota restrictions were relaxed, the fleet increasingly targeted sole instead of plaice. Targeting indices for sole and plaice were negatively correlated. Our findings indicate that catch and effort data by fishing trip are sufficient to characterise targeting behaviour on a macro-scale, whereas haul-by-haul data are needed to quantify the targeting on a micro-scale (30 × 30 nautical miles). The micro-scale targeting index can be used to standardize macro-scale CPUE data for bias due to variations in directed fishing among local fishing grounds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalFisheries Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • beam trawl fleet
  • north-sea
  • competitive interactions
  • demersal fisheries
  • effort allocation
  • fishing vessels
  • gadus-morhua
  • catch
  • impact
  • plaice

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