Fisheries Glossary A-C
A - See annual mortality.
ABC - See allowable biological catch.
AP - See advisory panel.
Absolute Abundance - The total number of a kind of fish in the population. This is rarely known, but usually estimated from relative abundance, although other methods may be used.
Abundance - See relative abundance and absolute abundance.
An abundance index is a measure of changes in population size over time. It is usually represented as the number of individuals caught per unit of effort sample (e.g., catch per tow).
Advisory Panel (AP) - A group of people appointed by a fisheries management agency to review information and give advice. Members are usually not scientists, but most are familiar with the fishing industry or a particular fishery.
Age Frequency or Age Structure - A breakdown of the different age groups of a kind of fish in a population or sample.
Allocation - Distribution of the opportunity to fish among user groups or individuals. The share a user group gets is sometimes based on historic harvest amounts.
Allowable Biological Catch (ABC) - A term used by a management agency which refers to the range of allowable catch for a species or species group. It is set each year by a scientific group created by the management agency. The agency then takes the ABC estimate and sets the annual total allowable catch (TAC).
Anadromous - Fish that migrate from saltwater to fresh water to spawn.
Angler - A person catching fish or shellfish with no intent to sell. This includes people releasing the catch.
Annual Mortality (A) - The percentage of fish dying in one year due to both fishing and natural causes.
Aquaculture - The raising of fish or shellfish under some controls. Ponds, pens, tanks or other containers may be used. Feed is often used. A hatchery is also aquaculture but the fish are released before harvest size is reached.
Artisanal Fishery - Commercial fishing using traditional or small scale gear and boats.
Availability - Describes whether a certain kind of fish of a certain size can be caught by a type of gear in an area.