The PPFA works with government and service companies to provide several major programs of significant value to our members, the larger industry and the sustainability of the entire BC prawn fishery.
It is important to note that if it were not for these programs funded by commercial license holders, there would be virtually no government sponsored data collection and very limited enforcement activities.
In - season spawner index
This program, funded by commercial license holders and administered by J.O. Thomas & Associates Ltd provides real-time, vessel monitoring and on-board, independent observers to undertake spawner sampling in most areas of the coast.
During the 46 day season in 2015, almost 1 million electronic position reports were received in real time. They were processed and analyzed continuously throughout the course of fishery. At an average rate of over 45 strings of gear per fishery-day, a total of 2,090 strings were sampled for spawner index data. Observers looked at over 775,000 individual prawns in 34,000 taps on 198 different vessels. This data is provided to DFObiologists and managers for review each week of the season and it is the basis upon which management decisions are made.
The approximate annual cost of this program is $500,000.00 and is funded by all commercial prawn license holders in BC.
Post - season spawner index
This annual program valued at approximately $100,000.00 and funded entirely by commercial license holders, provides the same key data as the In-Season program but proceeds in October and November of each year. This data collected by a third-party, independent service company and provided to DFO biologists and managers, provides ‘follow-up’ data on the overall health of the fishery several months after the close of the season.
Joint projects with covernment
Each year, the PPFA enters into two negotiated agreements (JPA) with the federal Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO). ). In 2015, $165,000.00 was provided by commercial license holders to DFO. These funds are used by DFODFO to enhance enforcement and science/data collection activities. The second JPA provides a legal and administrative framework for activities undertaken within the Post Season Spawner Indexing.
Annual funding provided by commercial license holders also allows the PPFA to manage a small office providing an administrative structure for procurement, contract, legal and other administrative needs.