Have you received a questionnaire?
In January 2019, SARA teamed up with the Gulf Fisherman Association Inc. to send out questionnaires to fishers regarding accidental sawfish captures. Below we hope to answer some of the questions we have received.
- Please be advised that the questionnaires were sent out by the Gulf Fishermen Association, we do not know who received them!
- These questionnaires were developed specifically for fishers in FNQ. We are using fish measurements in feet as this is what fishers are using (the ones we worked with). Feel free to respond in cm if that’s easier.
- The term ‘freshwater’ can refer to the tidal zone of a river in the wet season. If you feel uncomfortable with this term, replace it with tidal / non-tidal.
- The questionnaire was developed after Barbara spoke with fishers at the Annual Meeting of the Gulf Fishermen Association in October 2017. As explained during the meeting, the lack of SOCI data for sawfish can currently be interpreted in three ways: (1) Fishers are underreporting / fabricating data, (2) Sawfish have disappeared, or (3) Fishers have found ways to prevent sawfish captures. You can use the questionnaire to share your facts and also let us know how management can be improved.
- Many fishers have voiced concerns to Barbara about reporting interactions with endangered species, as they are worried that these reports can close their fishery down. For us, the questionnaire is the first step to a collaboration. We care about fresh caught, local fish (not imported), sustainable fisheries and healthy sawfish populations. The next step will be that we invite you to participate in a sawfish workshop in October 2019. We know that some of you implement good methods to release sawfish, and we want to hear them, so all fishers can use these methods.
If you have not yet received a questionnaire or would like to fill one in now, please get in touch!