Florida Pompano Size Limit Evaluation
inches (FL) in the Florida pompano fishery were evaluated
Download the Evaluation of a 12-inch minimum size limit on the Florida pompano
populations and fisheries in Florida Report (PDF 658 KB)
In this report, the impacts of raising the minimum size limit from 11 inches (FL) to 12
inches (FL) in the Florida pompano fishery were evaluated. It was assumed that the effects
of all other existing regulatory measures remained unchanged. A catch-based projection
and an equilibrium yield-per-recruit model were used for evaluating the impact of the
proposed 12-inch minimum size limit on fishery yield and stock condition. These methods
used information on the fisheries landings and size composition data reported for Florida
pompano during 2006-09 from the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida. Biological data, size
selectivity patterns, and estimates of exploitation rates were also utilized for the evaluation.
The size-frequency data were generally sparse for the 2006-09 periods and mostly limited
to the hook-and-line samples from the commercial and recreational landings.
The proportion of the average total landings in the size categories of 11-inch and smaller
was fairly large, 45% on the Atlantic coast and 40% on the Gulf coast during 2006-09. The
catch-based projection runs predicted that the annual landings of Florida pompano could
potentially drop between 12% and 24% on the Atlantic coast and drop between 10% and
21% on the Gulf coast with the implementation of the 12-inch minimum size limit under four
different compliance rates (85%, 90%, 95%, and 100%). The projected annual landings
reductions for 85% compliance were 12% on the Atlantic coast and 10% on the Gulf coast.
The stock abundance of Florida pompano was predicted to increase by 19% on the Atlantic
coast and 14% on the Gulf coast under the 85% compliance rate.
Results from the length based yield per recruit analysis show that, at current levels of
fishing mortality, raising the minimum size limit from 11 inches FL to 12 inches FL in the
Florida pompano fishery, will result in an increase in the spawning biomass per recruit
(SB/R) on both coasts of Florida. The SB/R was predicted to increase by 29% on the
Atlantic coast and by 18% on the Gulf coast based on the ascending selectivity pattern.
Slightly higher gains were estimated for the SB/R from the model runs with a knife-edge
selectivity pattern. Estimates of the Spawning Potential Ratio (SPR) for different
combinations of size-at first capture (minimum size limits) and fishing mortality rates
showed 1) The SPR increased with increase in minimum size limit; and 2) the risk of the
SPR dropping below 20% was reduced significantly under the 12-inch minimum size limit if
the fishing mortality increased above the existing rates.
Results from these analyses must be viewed with caution. The size composition data used
in the catch-based projections were limited mostly to the hook-and-line fishery low sample
sizes. There was little size information available from the commercial gill-net fishery, which
constitutes a large proportion of the total landings on the Gulf coast. A number of
simplifying assumptions were made: 1) no stock-recruitment feedback was included in the
projections; 2) models assumed constant fishing catchability and selectivity; 3) model
projections did not include potential effects of other management measures (e.g., bag-
limit, commercial vessel limit) already in place in the pompano fishery; and 4) the analysis
assumed no interplay between the minimum size limit and other management measures
in place in the fishery.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building
620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL
32399-1600 • (850) 488-4676
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