The Billfish Angler Survey provides estimates of billfish angling activities in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. This collection of recreational billfish catch and effort has occurred annually since 1969 and provides an index of fishing success in many Pacific billfish destinations. Catch per unit of effort (CPUE) is measured in catch of billfish per angler fishing day. This measure of angler success, tracked over time, can indicate changes in stock size caused by over fishing, changing environmental conditions, or local economic and political events. Only a small proportion of the data are from anglers in the Indian Ocean.
This data set contains vessel logbook and landings data from harpoon vessels that fish within 200 miles of the California coast, from 1974 to present. The harpoon fishery targets swordfish and occasionally sharks. The fishery is managed by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The data are owned by CDFW and managed jointly by CDFW and SWFSC.
The SWFSC's constituent-based Billfish Tagging Program began in 1963 and since that time has provided conventional spaghetti type tags and tagging supplies to billfish anglers fishing in the Pacific Ocean. Tag releases are recorded by anglers or vessel captains on tag release cards and mailed in. Tag recaptures are reported by phone or email. Release and recapture data are used to examine movement and migration, and species distribution patterns. This volunteer tagging program depends on the participation and cooperation of recreational anglers, sport fishing organizations, and commercial fishers. Since inception, over 55,000 billfish releases have been reported. Our emphasis continues to focus only on the skillful tagging of all billfish. The tagging of any other sport fish is not encouraged by this program; however, data from other species tagged over the years for special research projects are reported. Some tags from this program have been released in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean but these occurrences are infrequent.