SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL MANAGEMENT
Spatial and temporal management refers to the ability of managers to make decisions based on high resolution geographical data as well as important information for life history events for a species. Fisheries historically have been spatially managed across their entire geographic range or boundaries associated with management regimes (7). Temporally, fisheries are often managed and timed to avoid vulnerable life stages of harvestable species to preserve the stock (i.e. closed fishing during the moulting period for Dungeness crab). Both can prove difficult given the often “patchiness” of abundance in the ocean, the unobservability of spatially spread out marine environments, and variation in timing of important life history events across regions (7). However, by better understanding the habitat use by different life stages or organisms by having higher resolution information regarding their abundance, fisheries can be better managed into the future.
In general, the early life history stages of C. magister haven’t been well-studied across their broad geographic range and fine-scale spatial information for adult Dungeness crab is largely missing for Washington waters (8). As with many fisheries, relative abundance of C. magister across Washington waters is primarily determined by fishing effort and success of harvest (e.g. fishery-dependent data) (7). However, harvest only provides information for legal sized adult males, leaving large gaps regarding larval, juvenile and sublegal distribution, as well as for adult females. With a better understanding of temporal behavior and relative abundance of Dungeness crab, the fishery can respond and maximize benefits while minimizing harm to the stock (9).
Understanding how biological processes interact across spatial and temporal scales warrants collaboration among scientists to ensure widespread, consistent data collecting efforts (10). Additionally, a broad range of expertise is needed to identify the oceanographic factors that drive distribution, such as oscillation patterns, and recruitment limitations (Table XX). The PCRG members are geographically spread out across Washington, ranging from the coast, to critical inland areas such as Hood Canal and South Sound. Members also As such, the PCRG can collaborate and leverage participation and expertise by researchers to acquire fine-scale spatial and temporal information to inform Dungeness crab co-manager decision-making in Washington state.