FAO FISHERIES TECHNICAL PAPER 336/2
Interactions of Pacific tuna fisheries
Papers on biology and fisheries
Proceedings of the First FAO Expert Consultation
on interactions of Pacific Tuna Fisheries
3–11 December 1991
Nouméa, New Caledonia
Richard S. Shomura
Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology
University of Hawaii, Manoa
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
FAO Fisheries Department
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PREPARATION OF THIS DOCUMENT
This publication results from the First FAO Expert Consultation on Interactions of Pacific Tuna Fisheries hosted in Noumea, New Caledonia by the South Pacific Commission in cooperation with the Institut Français de Recherche Scientifique pour le Développement en Coopération from 3 to 11 December 1991. The Consultation was organized by the FAO Trust Fund project: “Cooperative Research on Interactions of Pacific Tuna Fisheries” in close collaboration with regional and national institutions involved in tuna fisheries research in the Pacific (see Acknowledgements).
The information presented at the Consultation was compiled by TUNET, a network of ten Working Groups organized by the FAO project. That information was contributed by scientists of the regional and national institutions studying tuna stocks and fisheries mainly in the Pacific, but also outside of the region.
FAO Fisheries Department
FAO Regional Fisheries Officers
FAO fisheries projects and programmes
International fisheries organizations
National fisheries departments
National fisheries research laboratories
Members of TUNET (FAO's network of working groups studying tuna fisheries interactions in the Pacific)
Shomura, R.S.; Majkowski, J.;Langi, S. (eds.)
This publication presents papers and discussions of the First FAO Expert Consultation on Interactions of Pacific Tuna Fisheries held in Noumea, New Caledonia from 3 to 11 December 1991. The objectives of the Consultation included:
Volume 1 contains:
Volume 2 includes:
The information contained herein demonstrates the potential for interactions occurring between and among the fisheries directed at tunas and tuna-like species. Empirical evidence for such interactions, however, has been available for only few fisheries, and these interactions have been quantified for even fewer fisheries. It is unclear whether interactions are insignificant among fisheries directed at tuna and tuna-like species or whether scientists are unable to detect these interactions possibly due to various changes to fisheries and resources, resulting in a too-variable background which conceals the effects of interactions.
The editors of this document would like to thank Convenors of TUNET's Working Groups, Session Chairmen, Rapporteurs and participants of the Consultation for their effort and collaboration in preparing the Summary Report of the Consultation (see Volume 1 of this document). Thanks are also due to authors and referees of the papers for their valuable contributions. Valuable assistance and advice were received from Dr William Bayliff, Ms Mary Lynne Godfrey, and Mr Robert Harman in the editing and from Mr Harman in the final formatting and lay-out of the document.
The Consultation and its Proceedings were made possible through the close cooperation of tuna scientists in the Pacific region. Funds for the organization of the Consultation were provided by the Government of Japan and by FAO. Technical expertise, data, and computer facilities for the preparatory work and the Consultation were contributed by many institutions, especially:
National research laboratories of many countries of Latin America, Southeast
Asia, and the South Pacific also contributed significantly to the work before and
during the Consultation.
Particular thanks are extended to local organizers from the institutions hosting the Consultation, Dr Anthony Lewis of the South Pacific Commission in Noumea, New Caledonia and Mr Renaud Pianet of the Institut Francais de Recherche Scientifique pour le Développement en Coopération also in Noumea.
The editors would like to acknowledge the assistance and encouragement of the staff of the Fishery Resources and Environment Division and the Operations Service of the FAO Fisheries Department (Rome, Italy), the FAO/UNDP Regional Fisheries Support Programme (Suva, Fiji), and the Indo-Pacific Tuna Programme (Colombo, Sri Lanka) and particularly to Dr John Caddy, Dr Serge Garcia, Mr Robert Gillett, Mr Andhi Isarankura, Dr Yasuhisa Kato, Mrs Christiane Lagrange-Hall, Mr Toshifumi Sakurai, Mr Mitsuo Yesaki, and Mr Hugh Walton.
Proceedings of the First FAO Expert Consultation on Interactions of Pacific Tuna Fisheries
Tunas and tuna-like species are extremely valuable commercially, especially albacore, bigeye, northern and southern bluefin, skipjack, and yellowfin tuna. Collectively, these species are referred to as principal market tuna species, and are prized for canning, sashimi (raw fish dishes), and other products. The lesser known tuna species, however, should not be discounted because they provide considerable in-country commerce and are important sources of protein in some parts of the world. In recent years, the Pacific Ocean has become the dominant ocean for tuna landings. Between 1980 and 1991, the annual catch of tuna and tuna-like species in the Pacific increased by 68% to about 3 million metric tons (mt). The 1991 Pacific total catch represented about 68% of the world's catch of these species. While these very high catches in the Pacific are impressive, some recent studies suggest that there is potential for still higher sustainable catches of some species.
The increases in the catches of Pacific tunas and tuna-like species have resulted from both intensification and expansion of existing fisheries, and the development of new fisheries. These changes have led to overlap of areas of operations of large and small-scale fisheries, as well as competition for the same tuna resources by large-scale fisheries using different gear. Detecting or predicting even this most direct type of interaction, however, is difficult and presents a serious research challenge. Presently, two or more tuna fisheries may be operating simultaneously on the same stock in overlapping geographical areas, targeting fish of similar sizes. In such a situation, changes in the fishing intensity or pattern of one fishery may affect the catches of the other fisheries. A further factor in fisheries interaction among tunas is the ability of many tuna species to undertake rapid, long distance movements or migrations across or even between oceans. Under these circumstances, fisheries operating in different exclusive economic zones and on the high seas may significantly affect each other.
The knowledge of fisheries interactions is essential for rational management of fisheries. The principal market tuna species and many tuna-like species are recognized by the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as highly migratory. Recently, considerable attention has been directed to the need for rational management of fisheries for highly migratory species and resources that straddle adjacent exclusive economic zones (EEZs). Such management would enhance economic and social benefits to the countries involved in fishing, processing, and trade of these resources. Presently, small-scale tuna fisheries exist in many developing countries in the Pacific, and many of these fisheries operate in the same areas as the large industrial tuna fisheries (purse seine, pole and line, and longline).
From 6 to 8 May 1992, the International Conference on Responsible Fishing was held in Cancun, Mexico, leading to the Cancun Declaration. From 7 to 15 September 1992, FAO organized the Technical Consultation on High Seas Fishing held in Rome, Italy, to consider technical issues related to such fishing. As a consequence of these meetings, FAO is involved in addressing the issue of flag of convenience. This issue is of major relevance to tuna fisheries and their management because many tuna vessels use such flags of convenience to avoid restrictive measures imposed by certain countries. Also, FAO actively participates in the development of a Code of Conduct of Responsible Fishing, which will apply to both the high seas and economic exclusive zones.
In a broader context, fisheries issues were considered at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 3 to 14 June 1993. The outcome of this Conference is relevant to fisheries directed at tuna and tuna-like species. The existing programme of action on environment and development (referred to as Agenda 21 or the Rio Declaration) and the two Conventions on Biodiversity and Climate Change are now open for ratification. These initiatives represent an important commitment at the highest national political level to resolve a wide range of problems associated with rational use of marine resources.
According to UNCLOS, fisheries management needs to be based on the best available scientific information. The recent attention directed to fisheries management of highly migratory and high seas resources has pointed the need for scientific information on interactions of fisheries directed at tuna and tuna-like species. This need has also become evident at recent regional and international meetings of fisheries scientists and administrators.
In the Pacific, where most catch of tuna and tuna-like species is taken, there is an additional urgent need to integrate available information and to coordinate fisheries research. The Pacific is the only ocean where there is neither a single fisheries body nor a technical programme directed to tuna and tuna-like species that encompass the entire ocean. Some of the Pacific stocks of tuna and tuna-like species are only partly covered by existing fisheries bodies and programmes in terms of their areas of distribution. This situation promoted FAO to initiate a project: “Cooperative Research on Interactions of Pacific Tuna Fisheries” and to create a network of ten working groups of scientists (TUNET) to provide direction and to facilitate the implementation of the project.
To provide an information base for the execution of the project, FAO organized the First FAO Expert Consultation on Interactions of Pacific Tuna Fisheries hosted in Noumea, New Caledonia, by the South Pacific Commission with collaboration of the Institut Francais de Recherche Scientifique pour le Developpement en Cooperation (ORSTOM) from 3 to 11 December 1991. The Consultation was preceded by a preparatory meeting held in Noumea in late 1989. The success of the Consultation was due to the close collaboration and contribution of many other institutions; these institutions and the host organizations are duly acknowledged in the Summary Report presented in Volume I.
The objectives of the First FAO Expert Consultation on Interactions of Pacific Tuna Fisheries included describing the concerns related to interactions of Pacific fisheries directed at tuna and tuna-like species, classifying these interactions, reviewing all available information on them and the methods applied to their study, and making recommendations for future research.
The information presented in the proceedings demonstrates that there is a potential for interactions occurring between and among the fisheries directed at tunas and tuna-like species. Empirical evidence for such interactions, however, has been available for only few fisheries, and these interactions have been quantified for even fewer fisheries. It is unclear whether interactions are insignificant among fisheries directed at tuna and tuna-like species or whether scientists are unable to detect these interactions possibly due to various changes to fisheries and resources, resulting in a too-variable background which conceals the effects of interactions.
These “Proceedings of the First FAO Expert Consultation on Interactions of Pacific Tuna Fisheries” are provided in two volumes:
Volume 1 contains the Summary Report of the Consultation. Volume 1 also includes a review paper on methods for studying interactions in tuna fisheries, thirteen papers presenting new methods and case studies on such interactions, and seven reviews on fisheries interactions related to individual stocks of Pacific tunas and tuna-like species.
Volume 2 includes eleven review papers on the biology, population dynamics, and fisheries associated with the Pacific tuna resources. These reviews are supplemented by four additional papers on specific fisheries.
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A review of the biology and fisheries for skipjack tuna, Katsuwonus pelamis, in the Pacific Ocean, Alex Wild and John Hampton
A review of biology and fisheries for yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares, in the eastern Pacific Ocean, Alex Wild
A review of the biology and fisheries for yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) in the western and central Pacific Ocean, Ziro Suzuki
USA distant-water and artisanal fisheries for yellowfin tuna in the central and western Pacific, Atilio L. Coan, Jr.
Status of Korean tuna longline and purse-seine fisheries in the Pacific Ocean, Yeong Chull Park, Won Seok Yang, and Tae Ik Kim
Taiwanese yellowfin fisheries in the Pacific Ocean, Chien-Hsiung Wang
A review of the biology and fisheries for North Pacific albacore (Thunnus alalunga), Norman Bartoo and Terry J. Foreman
A review of the biology and fisheries for albacore, Thunnus alalunga, in the South Pacific Ocean, Talbot Murray
A review of the biology and fisheries for bigeye tuna, Thunnus obesus, in the Pacific Ocean, Naozumi Miyabe
A review of the biology and fisheries for northern bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus, in the Pacific Ocean, William H. Bayliff
Review of aspects of southern bluefin tuna biology, population, and fisheries, A.E. Caton (editor)
Commercial and recreational components of the southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) fishery, A.E. Caton
A review of the biology and fisheries for longtail tuna (Thunnus tonggol) in the Indo-Pacific region, Mitsuo Yesaki
A review of the biology and fisheries for kawakawa (Euthynnus affinis) in the Indo-Pacific region, Mitsuo Yesaki
A review of the Auxis fisheries of the Philippines and some aspects of the biology of frigate (A. thazard) and bullet (A. rochei) tunas in the Indo-Pacific region, Mitsuo Yesaki and Flerida Arce