2006 Florida Pompano Stock Assessment
This article provides a stock assessment for pompano, Trachinotus carolinus, in
Florida waters through 2005
Download the Stock Assessment (PDF 742 KB)
This assessment uses information on the fisheries catch and effort for Florida pompano,
changes in relative abundance, and growth and reproduction to assess the condition of its
populations found along the Atlantic and gulf coasts of Florida. Data used in this
assessment were complete through 2005, though sector-specific landings and effort are
given through 2006.
Historical landings data show that the commercial fishery was well-developed in the early
20th century with landings exceeding 750,000 pounds statewide in 1902. Atlantic coast
landings peaked in the 1960's at 590,000 pounds and have averaged only 112,000 pounds
during 2001-2005. Gulf coast commercial landings showed two decades of rapid increase
before peaking at more than 1.2 million pounds in 1974. Landings during 2001-2005
averaged only 193,000 pounds. Commercial landings on both coast showed short-lived
increases during 1997 and 1998 with the development of a fishery in Federal waters.
Recreational landings estimates were generally more imprecise and lower during the
earliest years of available data (1981-1996) than afterward. Atlantic coast landings peaked
at 714,000 pounds (374,000 fish) during 2003 and gulf coast landings peaked at 462,000
pounds (266,000 fish) during 2001.
The assessment of the status of Florida pompano was investigated using a variety of
techniques. Of these, the stock reduction analysis and non-equilibrium stock production
model were deemed most reliable. The former is a new exploratory analysis that helps put
more recent landings in perspective with, sometimes larger, historic landings. The stock
production model has been applied to Florida pompano since the 2001 FWC-FWRI
assessment and uses catch and effort data to infer the population's productivity and
abundance. Both techniques allow for estimation of maximum sustainable yield.
On both coasts of Florida, fishing mortality rates for Florida pompano showed a declining
trend from the mid 1980's until 1996, then a sharp increase in 1997, reaching a peak in
2000. This was followed by fluctuations then an increase between 2002 and 2005 on the
Atlantic coast and by a decline through 2004 on the gulf coast.
Estimated abundance or biomass of Florida pompano on the Atlantic coast showed an
increase during the mid 1990's before fluctuating without trend through 2005. Gulf coast
estimates of vulnerable biomass were much steadier since the later 1980's. Recent trends
since 2003 reflect the changes in fishing mortality with a decrease in biomass on the
Atlantic coast and an increase on the gulf coast.
The average 2005 Florida pompano population biomass estimates for the Atlantic and gulf
coasts generally exceeded the estimated minimum stock size threshold so it is unlikely
they are currently overfished. The certainty of this status determination is less on the
Atlantic coast where one estimate of vulnerable biomass in 2005 is slightly lower than the
threshold. There, the stock reduction analysis suggested that fishing is too high contrary to
the surplus production model which showed fishing rates below the overfishing threshold.
The highly uncertain but low estimate of static spawning potential ratio for the Atlantic coast
in 2005 (25%) seemingly supports an overfishing status designation there. On the gulf
coast, it is clearer that overfishing was not occurring for Florida pompano in 2005.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building
620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL
32399-1600 • (850) 488-4676
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