New Capabilities Added to the Fishing Ecosystem Analysis Tool (FEAT)

An example of FEAT results displayed as a Google map.
An example of FEAT results displayed as a Google map.

An article in The August 2009 issue of QRB described a new geospatial analysis tool linking fisheries data with U.S. Census data to help define fishing communities. The "Fishing Ecosystem Analysis Tool" (FEAT) was developed by PIFSC social scientist Stewart Allen and colleague Matt Austin of NOAA's National Ocean Service. The main features of FEAT were its integration of spatially-specific commercial fishing data with demographic information available through U.S. census statistics and its ability to present resulting information in useful maps. Since its creation, FEAT has undergone a number of refinements, the most recent of which enables a user to query for recreational fishing information collected from 2002 to 2010 through the Hawaii Marine Recreational Fishing Survey (HMRFS). Users can filter queries by many of the same variables used in commercial fishing queries, such as angler residence (by zip code), species, gear, mode of trip (shore or boat), season, and interview location. The resulting data can be output to Google Earth, ESRI shape files, or as a database. As with the commercial fishing queries, the Google Earth output displays not only recreational catch statistics for the area code of interest but also characteristics about the places where the fishermen live. Graphs are added to increase the interpretability of the numerical results. Another feature recently added was the ability to show trends in demographic characteristics between the U.S. censuses of 2000 and the 2010.