Southeast Finfish Processing Activities of....
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GRANT NUMBER:  NA47FD0290           NMFS NUMBER:  93-SER-014

REPORT TITLE: Southeast Finfish Processing Activities of Federally Managed Species, Particularly Reef Fish, and Potential Impact of Regulation

AUTHOR:  Keithly, Walter R. Jr., and Martin, Anthony


AVAILABLE FROM:  National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Region, 9721 Executive Center Drive, North, St. Petersburg, FL 33702.   PHONE: (813) 570-5324


The general objective of the project was to provide an economic analysis of the southeast finfish processing sector, specifically the reef fish fishery, to evaluate the impact of different management options.  Results of the study indicate potentially large underreporting of reeffish processing establishments (this does not include the undereporting by firms who report no reeffish processing activities to NMFS). The underreporting was particularly apparent with respect to grouper and amberjack. For example, the 29 firms surveyed for purposes of analysis in this study reported 2.4 million pounds of processed grouper products and 459 thousand pounds of processed amberjack products. Total industry production of these two species, as reported in the NMFS processor database, equaled 2.5 million pounds and 270 thousand pounds, respectively. Hence, an incomplete survey of the population of identified firms accounted for essentially all of the grouper production reported by NMFS and almost twice the reported amberjack production. Two possible reasons or an amalgam thereof can be advanced for the apparent differences in overall production figures. First, identified processors could be underreporting actual processing figures in the NMFS end-of-the-year processor survey. Alternatively, processors may have overreported their actual production in the current survey. This second explanation seems somewhat remote, however, given the fact that many of the interviewed processors provided us with their actual records from which we derived annual and monthly figures.  This calls into question the value of using NMFS processed finfish data for purposes of analysis and leads to the conclusion that mandatory reporting by processors may enhance the NMFS database.

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