Nevertheless, summed at-sea estimates of daily purse-seine catches from CDFR's are considered reliable estimates of total daily catch because menhaden captains are particularly adept at estimating individual purse-seine catches.
Beginning in the mid 1990's, landings increased and more than doubled to 11,190 t by 1995, then climbed to 17,640 t by 1998, most probably a reflection of more accurate data collection via the CDFR's.
CDFR Compliance, Spotter Pilot Activity, and Fishing Days
Beginning in 1998 to the present, compliance for completing CDFR forms by snapper rig captains has been 100%, and captains provided between 318 and 482 CDFR forms annually (Table 2).
Some, but not all, snapper rig captains completed CDFR's even on days when they did not fish, noting if they did not leave the dock, or that they went to sea but did not set; hence, one completed CDFR form may not equal a "trip" with sets.
The CDFR Program for the reduction fishery was originally designed in the late 1970's as a joint state, Federal, and menhaden industry effort to provide better information on menhaden catch locations and fishing effort (Smith, 1999).
CDFR's also document menhaden for bait catches by distance from the shoreline.
Since 2005, captains of snapper rig vessels have provided GPS coordinates of their purse-seine set location on CDFR forms.
We wish to thank the captains of Virginia's snapper rig fleet for assiduously completing CDFR logbook forms beginning in the mid 1990's, even before compliance was made mandatory in 2001.