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4. The purse-seine fishery for tunas in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean


In this section, we focus attention on the purse-seine fishery for tunas in the WCPO. We find that fishing capacity exceeds observed catches for all major fleets, i.e. the purse-seine fleets of Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the Taiwan Province of China and the United States, and for the other fleets combined. We estimate that, on average, during 1998-2002 purse-seine skipjack-fishing capacity, purged for TE, was around 138 000 tonnes per annum greater than the actual catch levels. For yellowfin and bigeye combined we estimate that, on average, during 1998-2002 purse-seine fishing capacity, purged for TE, was around 29 000 tonnes per annum greater than actual catch levels.

4.1 Data

Vessel level purse-seine catch (by species and set type) and effort (by days fished and searched[22] and number of sets made by set type) data by vessel flag for the WCPO tuna fishery were obtained from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) for 1980-2002.[23] These data, which covered the operations of the purse-seine fleets of China, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Republic of Korea, the Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, the Taiwan Province of China, the United States and Vanuatu throughout the WCPO, were obtained from vessel logbooks.

Data were also provided by the SPC for the purse-seine fleet of Japan; however, these data include only fishing activity in the Exclusive Economic Zones of countries other than Japan, which is only a portion of Japanese purse-seine operations. Data covering the fishing activities of the Japanese purse-seine fleet throughout the WCPO for 2000-2002 was obtained from the National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries (NRIFSF) of Japan. These data included catches by set type, the combined number days spent fishing and searching, and carrying capacities of the vessels, provided in ranges of 800 to 900 tonnes, 900 to 1000 tonnes, 1000 to 1100 tonnes, 1100 to 1200 tonnes, 1200 to 1300 tonnes, and 1300 to 1400 tonnes.[24]

Data on the activities of the Spanish and Australian purse-seine fleets were not available at the time that the analyses were undertaken.

While, for confidentiality purposes, the data provide by the SPC could not be attributed to individual vessels the SPC matched vessel characteristics taken from the Regional Register of the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) to the logbook data to allow for a data set for each vessel that included both catch and effort data and data relating to the characteristics of the vessel. The vessel characteristics provided were: GRT, storage capacity, length overall (LOA) and power of main engine. These data pertain to the characteristics of the vessel at the time that they were obtained from the Regional Register, and thus do not capture changes in these characteristics of the period for which the analysis was conducted. Finally, in some cases the vessel characteristics for a vessel were not available[25] or were incomplete. The data set used in the analysis is based on the sample of vessels for which complete data sets were available. The number of vessels that formed the data set for each fleet grouping used in the analysis is provided in Table 4.2.

TABLE 4.1
Exploitable biomass and sea-surface temperatures

Year

Exploitable biomass (tonnes)

Sea-surface temperature

Skipjack

Yellowfin

Bigeye

°F (°C)

1998

2 096 661

431 885

46 021

84.30 (29.1)

1999

2 663 134

323 635

45 113

83.80 (28.8)

2000

2 095 842

297 930

46 155

83.60 (28.7)

2001

2 054 939

297 187

47 710

84.90 (29.4)

2002

2 210 299

292 977

30 148

83.68 (28.7)

Exploitable biomass estimates for the purse-seine fishery for yellowfin, bigeye and skipjack tunas, which were provided on a quarterly basis by the SPC[26], are based on stock assessments undertaken for the 16th meeting of the Standing Committee on Tuna and Billfish of the SPC. The quarterly estimates were converted to annual estimates by averaging over a given year. Sea-surface temperatures taken at the time of each set of each vessel, in degrees Fahrenheit, are taken from the logbooks of United States purse-seine vessels. These data are collected jointly by the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service and the Forum Fishery Agency. These temperatures are averaged (a simple or unweighted arithmetic average) over all sets, vessels and areas to provide a mean annual sea-surface temperature for the area fished in the WCPO. These temperatures are used for all fleets in the analysis, rather than just the United States vessels. The exploitable biomass and sea-surface temperature data used in the analysis are shown in Table 4.1.

For the analysis the data were grouped by fishing nations for the fleets of Japan, the Republic of Korea, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the United States, and the Taiwan Province of China. The remaining fleets were combined in a single group, as there were insufficient observations to allow the analysis to be undertaken at the individual fleet level.[27]

Average vessel data across groups for each of the variables used in the analysis are reported in Table 4.2.

4.2 Methodology

Capacity output, capacity output adjusted for TE and CU rates (observed output divided by capacity output or observed output divided by capacity output adjusted for TE) are estimated by DEA. We estimate fishing capacity using the output-oriented non-radial method of Russell (1985), assuming variable returns to scale.

For the reasons outlined in the EPO analysis, capacity output estimates, with the exception of those for the Japanese fleet, were made for the five-year period of 1998-2002.[28] For the Japanese fleet estimates were made for the three-year period of 2000-2002, as these were the only years for which data were obtained from the NRIFSF.

TABLE 4.2
Averages for vessel data used to estimate capacity in the purse-seine fishery of the WCPO

Flag

Year

Number of vessels

GRT

LOA
(metres)

Engine size
(horsepower)

Storage capacity
(cubic metres)

Combined days fished and search

Reported catch per vessel by set type

Skipjack

Yellowfin and bigeye

Unassociated

Floating objects

Other

Unassociated

Floating objects

Other

Japan

2000

34

na

na

na

1 135

241

886

3 202

na

505

595

na

2001

34

na

na

na

1 135

230

1 475

3 075

na

409

591

na

2002

34

na

na

na

1 135

244

2 283

2 483

na

307

383

na

Republic of Korea

1998

27

1 027

62.64

3 645

1 31

257

3 499

1 789

131

1 824

341

24

1999

25

1 025

62.79

3 633

1 318

281

2 929

1 163

264

867

328

96

2000

26

1 024

62.69

3 632

1 312

233

3 784

930

81

908

161

10

2001

26

1 024

62.69

3 632

1 312

251

3 898

835

159

1 251

68

99

2002

26

1 024

62.69

3 632

1 312

255

4 023

1 848

290

551

139

28

Papua New Guinea

1998

11

952

58.28

2 905

673

1601

374

401

1 762

160

133

645

1999

1 2

920

61.08

2 902

692

151

176

956

1 221

93

151

447

2000

17

959

60.43

2 887

737

166

1 050

919

1 116

338

180

357

2001

18

879

59.06

2 748

684

250

1 579

985

828

475

347

456

2002

02

912

59.19

2 735

764

210

1 11

1 105

1 479

218

200

825

Philippines

1998

9

955

56.34

2 816

718

203

119

1 280

1 529

72

401

408

1999

9

955

56.34

2 816

718

226

162

1 547

1 352

12

386

372

2000

9

978

57.27

2 894

737

225

170

1 277

1 317

45

473

404

2001

9

945

57.79

2 994

782

242

270

1 158

747

208

734

414

2002

12

949

59.19

3 145

853

173

124

749

489

60

263

133

Taiwan Province of China

1998

43

1 071

64.68

3 064

1 292

266

2 371

1 962

283

1 292

136

52

1999

43

1 071

64.68

3 060

1 282

278

1 084

2 533

134

462

559

32

2000

43

1 100

65.05

3 098

1 298

231

2 336

1 787

207

749

134

13

2001

44

1 126

65.48

3 128

1 310

2665

2 702

1 625

225

875

156

50

2002

42

1 128

65.69

3 135

1 322

267

2 530

2 725

386

440

208

24

United States

1998

34

1 229

66.25

3 724

1 480

191

974

2 485

33

687

341

11

1999

35

1 248

66.45

3 729

1 409

163

83

3 466

11

24

978

3

2000

30

1 187

66.04

3 698

1 310

163

807

1 798

16

162

611

8

2001

34

1 1991

65.84

3 736

1 518

183

1 199

1 517

28

355

480

8

2002

29

1 207

66.63

3 788

1 536

209

1 723

1 261

10

627

259

4

Others

1998

12

938

58.65

2 878

873

274

1 613

1 988

1 143

762

440

425

1999

1 26

1 069

61.60

3 084

1 031

248

653

1 936

1 262

360

566

476

2000

22

1 090

62.28

3 099

1 048

143

484

1 933

553

279

234

67

2001

15

1 124

60.85

3 016

1 003

196

919

2 339

535

369

405

250

2002

19

1 168

62.61

3 119

1 124

178

1 093

2 319

224

273

245

125

Note: For Japan catches reported by the NRIFSF as "free" sets are listed under "unassociated" sets in the table and those reported as "associated" sets are listed as "floating objects" sets.

Estimates of capacity outputs, allowing for variable returns to scale[29], were made at the set and vessel level by mode of fishing. Reports of yellowfin often include bigeye, as the two species are difficult to distinguish during the juvenile stages of their life cycle, so the data on the catches of the two species were aggregated. For all fleets, with the exception of the Japanese purse-seine fleet, output or catches in the analysis was specified by species and method of harvest as follows: (1) yellowfin and bigeye tuna caught in sets on unassociated schools; (2) yellowfin and bigeye tuna caught in sets on floating objects (FADS or flotsam); (3) yellowfin and bigeye tuna caught in other set types such as anchored FADs; (4) skipjack caught in sets on unassociated schools; (5) skipjack caught in sets made on floating objects and (6) skipjack caught in other set types. For the Japanese fleet the catches were specified as (1) yellowfin and bigeye tuna caught in free sets; (2) yellowfin and bigeye tuna caught in associated sets; (3) skipjack caught in free sets; (4) skipjack caught in associated sets. Free sets are the same as unassociated sets and associated sets are the same as floating-object sets as used previously. The reported catches of other fish were negligible, and hence not considered in the analysis. The analysis estimated capacity output for all six (four for the Japanese fleet) outputs and three (two) types of fishing specifying a common harvesting frontier (i.e. the DEA models were run with all six (four) outputs at once, rather than separately for each of the three (two) types of fishing). To be able to accurately estimate capacity output by individual vessel for each of the different types of fishing, each of the six (four) outputs in the DEA model was specified as catches per vessel per year.

The capital stock or capacity base of an individual vessel was specified by its GRT, storage capacity, LOA and engine power, except for vessels of the Japanese fleet, for which it was specified by the mid-point of the carrying capacity band in which it fell.

Biomass estimates for yellowfin and skipjack were used to specify stock conditions with sea-surface temperature used to account for environmental conditions. Both of these variables were specified as non-discretionary or fixed (constrained) inputs.

The technological-economic measure of capacity output specifies full utilization of variable inputs. However, estimates of TE by DEA were made by using the annual numbers of days fished and searched as the variable inputs.

Annual capacity output on a per-vessel basis was estimated and subsequently converted to total annual fleet activity for each fleet group by summing over the individual vessels.

Finally, it should be noted that the catch estimates obtained from the logbook data and the data for the Japanese fleet provided by the NRIFSF differ from the SPC estimates of catches published in its Tuna Fishery Yearbook, as the logbook data are only one of many sources that are used to derive the published estimates. Given this, in Section 4.3.2 we combine the estimates derived from the DEA analysis and the SPC Tuna Fishery Yearbook catch estimates to obtain estimates of excess fishing capacity in the WCPO tuna purse-seine fishery.

4.3 Results

4.3.1 DEA estimates

The results of the analysis indicate that substantial excess fishing capacity, defined as fishing capacity output minus observed output (landings), when measured as: (1) potential catch minus actual catch or (2) potential catch, purged for TE, minus actual catch exists for:

TABLE 4.3
Reported catches, estimated capacities and capacity purged for technical efficiency for the purse-seine fishing of the WCPO

Flag

Year

Reported catch (tonnes)

Skipjack

Yellowfin and bigeye

Unassociated

Floating objects

Other

Unassociated

Floating objects

Other

Japan

2000

30 127

108 871

-

17 154

20 245

-

2001

50 150

104 534

-

13 903

20 080

-

2002

77 618

84 425

-

10 433

13 025

-

Republic of Korea

1998

94 483

48 308

3 530

49 235

9 201

635

1999

73 214

29 069

6 605

21 682

8 206

2 400

2000

98 372

24 187

2 105

23 601

4 188

270

2001

101 349

21 719

4 140

32 535

1 761

2 570

2002

104 588

48 040

7 535

14 327

3 610

740

Papua New Guinea

1998

4 116

4 406

19 378

1 756

1 458

7 096

1999

2 108

11 477

14 656

1 110

1 815

5 367

2000

17 852

15 625

18 969

5 740

3 063

6 067

2001

28 416

17 735

14 899

8 555

6 240

8 215

2002

24 664

24 320

32 546

4 787

4 396

18 156

Philippines

1998

1 072

11 521

13 765

645

3 611

3 673

1999

1 458

13 924

12 167

112

3 470

3 350

2000

1 531

11 495

11 853

408

4 257

3 639

2001

2 433

10 418

6 721

1 870

6 606

3 729

2002

1 488

8 984

5 872

717

3 157

1 598

Taiwan Province of China

1998

101 938

84 368

12 166

55 543

5 862

2 248

1999

46 592

108 918

5 756

19 875

24 055

1 388

2000

100 468

76 828

8 909

32 222

5 743

550

2001

118 878

71 511

9 895

38 519

6 879

2 183

2002

106 254

114 437

16 210

18 485

8 744

995

United States

1998

33 110

84 504

1 131

23 365

11 608

375

1999

2 890

121 314

393

853

34 220

95

2000

24 197

53 938

481

4 871

18 333

230

2001

40 749

51 572

942

12 068

16 322

268

2002

49 973

36 583

276

18 169

7 522

124

Others

1998

19 351

23 851

13 711

9 143

5 279

5 099

1999

10 445

30 980

20 192

5 765

9 061

7 611

2000

10 659

42 520

12 176

6 144

5 138

1 475

2001

12 863

32 746

7 495

5 168

5 676

3 501

2002

18 587

39 420

3 805

4 646

4 172

2 122


Flag

Year

Fishing capacity (tonnes)

Skipjack

Yellowfin and bigeye

Unassociated

Floating objects

Other

Unassociated

Floating objects

Other

Japan

2000

34 787

121 990

-

21 527

25 691

-

2001

70 663

116 244

-

16 837

22 623

-

2002

99 311

106 966

-

11 582

18 986

-

Republic of Korea

1998

113 580

66 135

3 795

59 765

13 649

809

1999

131 708

50 417

7 279

24 381

8 595

2 624

2000

136 581

35 759

4 169

26 998

6 645

683

2001

124 056

24 233

4 447

35 958

2 028

2 829

2002

133 744

56 250

8 288

17 360

4 214

919

Papua New Guinea

1998

17 490

9 679

22 242

2 873

2 862

8 550

1999

16 805

29 959

19 549

1 978

2 273

8 795

2000

27 756

18 462

22 353

8 019

3 482

7 091

2001

32 807

22 803

15 826

9 757

6 722

8 491

2002

30 973

41 291

39 909

5 401

4 762

20 778

Philippines

1998

1 994

14 355

17 369

1 159

5 011

5 346

1999

2 101

15 621

13 605

315

4 706

4 684

2000

2 595

13 692

13 396

757

5 893

5 341

2001

2 563

12 352

7 175

1 891

9 041

4 879

2002

1 499

9 570

6 727

859

3 702

1 790

Taiwan Province of China

1998

158 106

97 094

14 156

74 961

6 961

3 043

1999

86 932

186 135

16 755

36 279

35 115

1 862

2000

159 043

99 192

9 730

49 327

6 490

595

2001

147 419

76 573

10 746

51 094

10 843

2 599

2002

124 720

128 044

30 554

23 354

9 495

2 102

United States

1998

48 187

95 199

1 380

24 019

15 573

681

1999

16 553

160 099

1 017

6 874

52 285

226

2000

34 209

67 808

601

6 495

20 911

355

2001

53 176

71 386

1 663

13 229

21 218

342

2002

70 316

44 068

300

21 545

9 671

183

Others

1998

23 704

26 598

18 192

10 249

6 145

5 916

1999

14 224

38 805

33 976

7 391

9 457

11 760

2000

12 927

70 687

25 471

7 594

6 072

2 332

2001

15 407

39 932

9 573

6 655

5 676

3 629

2002

19 826

51 548

4 049

4 891

5 319

2 254


Flag

Year

Fishing capacity purged for technical efficiency (tonnes)

Skipjack

Yellowfin and bigeye

Unassociated

Floating objects

Other

Unassociated

Floating objects

Other

Japan

2000

32 002

113 231

-

18 803

21 583

-

2001

53 364

106 340

-

13 688

21 359

-

2002

76 893

99 132

-

9 102

15 758

-

Republic of Korea

1998

111 050

64 635

3 644

59 091

13 034

737

1999

86 623

33 873

6 798

23 490

8 417

2 469

2000

132 587

34 437

3 233

25 957

6 224

481

2001

117 230

23 199

4 380

34 784

1 914

2 755

2002

113 385

51 801

8 058

15 396

3 858

788

Papua New Guinea

1998

17 080

8 091

22 140

2 777

2 275

8 443

1999

7 658

23 378

18 302

1 400

2 187

8 185

2000

26 861

18 415

22 353

7 319

3 415

7 036

2001

31 928

19 370

14 987

8 905

6 612

8 391

2002

29 712

38 962

38 603

4 698

4 703

20 188

Philippines

1998

1 702

14 099

15 411

885

4 649

4 506

1999

1 458

13 970

12 250

119

3 480

3 367

2000

2 145

13 546

13 008

594

5 762

4 919

2001

2 478

10 687

6 455

1 871

6 900

3 763

2002

1 488

8 984

5 872

717

3 157

1 598

Taiwan Province of China

1998

113 932

81 826

12 248

59 781

4 989

2 254

1999

55 502

108 891

10 867

23 261

23 092

1 678

2000

132 356

85 605

9 138

41 872

5 277

587

2001

133 122

73 924

9 972

44 367

7 008

2 331

2002

113 961

121 756

19 468

20 126

9 290

1 274

United States

1998

42 135

92 813

1 193

23 259

13 354

619

1999

7 828

149 677

498

2 139

46 720

181

2000

28 795

60 204

527

5 112

19 752

290

2001

47 074

67 433

1 470

12 625

19 567

301

2002

64 632

39 884

295

20 610

8 830

153

Others

1998

21 594

23 988

15 218

9 784

5 360

5 553

1999

10 586

30 732

27 597

6 198

9 128

10 545

2000

12 262

58 607

17 721

6 672

4 951

1 466

2001

14 523

37 485

8 757

6 211

5 676

3 601

2002

18 923

48 435

3 888

4 588

5 017

2 176

Note: For Japan catches reported by the NRIFSF as "free" sets are listed under "unassociated" sets in the table and those reported as "associated" sets are listed as "floating-object" sets.

During 1998-2002 excess capacity for skipjack, purged for TE, ranged from eight percent of the observed catch for the Philippines' fleet to 35 percent of the observed catch for the Papua New Guinea fleet (Table 4.4). Excess capacity for skipjack, purged for TE, for the Korean, Taiwanese and United States fleets during 1998-2002 averaged 19, 10 and 20 percent of the observed catches, respectively. The estimates for the United States fleet are likely to be biased upward because some vessels of this fleet also operate in the EPO, and this is not accounted for in the analysis. For the other vessels as a group, it was estimated that excess capacity for skipjack, purged for TE, averaged 17 percent of their observed catch. For the Japanese fleet it was estimated that during 2000-2002 the excess capacity for skipjack, purged for TE, averaged six percent of the observed catch.

During 1998-2002 the excess capacity for yellowfin and bigeye combined, purged for TE, ranged from nine to 17 percent, a significantly narrower range than that for skipjack (Table 4.4). The group of other vessels was estimated to have the lowest relative excess capacity for yellowfin and bigeye combined, purged for TE, at nine percent of the observed catch, while the United States fleet was estimated to have the greatest, at 17 percent of the observed catch. Once again, the estimates for the United States fleet are likely to be biased upward for the reason given above. Excess capacity for yellowfin and bigeye combined, purged for TE, for the Taiwanese, Philippine, Korean and Papua New Guinea fleets during 1998-2002 averaged 11, 13, 14 and 15 percent of their observed catches, respectively. For the Japanese fleet it was estimated that during 2000-2002 the excess capacity for yellowfin and bigeye combined, purged for TE, averaged six percent of the observed catch.

The CU rates for all species combined also indicate significant excess capacity, defined as capacity output minus observed output, regardless of whether TE is purged (Table 4.5). (CU is defined as observed output divided by capacity output.) CU ranges between 0 and 1, where 0 indicates no observed output and 1 indicates that observed output equals capacity output. CU, purging TE from capacity output, during 1998-2002 averaged across all vessels in the respective fleets ranged from 0.81 for the Papua New Guinea fleet to 0.95 for the Philippines fleet. CU for all species combined, purged for TE, for the Korean, Taiwanese and United States fleets during 1998-2002 averaged 0.86, 0.91 and 0.86 percent respectively. For the reason previously mentioned, the estimates for the US fleet are likely to be biased downward. For the other vessels as a group it was estimated that CU for all species combined, purged for TE, averaged 0.88. For the Japanese fleet it was estimated that during 2000-2002 that CU, purged for TE, for all species combined averaged 0.95.

4.3.2 Using the DEA results and SPC catch estimates to estimate total excess fishing capacity in the WCPO

In this section the results of the DEA analysis are combined with the catch estimates in the SPC Tuna Fishery Yearbook to provide estimates of purse-seine fishing capacity and purse-seine fishing capacity, purged for TE, for all species combined and individually for skipjack and for yellowfin and bigeye combined. This is done because the DEA estimates derived in the previous section are based on logbook data, rather than raised catch data.

These estimates were derived as follows. For each fleet and species grouping covered in the analysis the estimated catches from the SPC Tuna Fishery Yearbook were multiplied by the estimated excess capacity, expressed as percentages, obtained from the DEA analysis for the given fleet and species grouping. This was done for both fishing capacity and fishing capacity purged for TE. The resulting excess capacity estimates were then divided by the SPC Tuna Fishery Yearbook total catch for the fleets covered in the analysis and this percentage multiplied by the total WCPO purse-seine catch.

TABLE 4.4
Reported catch, estimated excess capacity and excess capacity purged for technical efficiency for the purse-seine fishery of the WCPO

Flag

Year

Reported catch

Excess fishing capacity

Excess fishing capacity purged for technical efficiency

Skipjack

Yellowfin and bigeye

Skipjack

Yellowfin and bigeye

Skipjack

Yellowfin and bigeye

tonnes

tonnes

tonnes

%

tonnes

%

tonnes

%

tonnes

%

Japan

2000

138 997

37 399

17 780

(13)

9 820

(26)

6 236

(4)

2 988

(8)

2001

154 684

33 983

32 222

(21)

5 478

(16)

5 019

(3)

1 064

(3)

2002

162 043

23 458

44 234

(27)

7 110

(30)

13 982

(9)

1 401

(6)

Average

151 908

31 613

31 412

(21)

7 469

(24)

8 412

(6)

1 817

(6)

Republic of Korea

1998

146 321

59 104

37 188

(25)

15 119

(26)

33 009

(23)

13 758

(23)

1999

108 888

32 376

80 516

(74)

3 224

(10)

18 406

(17)

1 999

(6)

2000

124 664

28 139

51 844

(42)

6 186

(22)

45 593

(37)

4 522

(16)

2001

127 208

36 945

25 529

(20)

3 869

(10)

17 600

(14)

2 508

(7)

2002

160 163

18 765

38 119

(24)

3 728

(20)

13 082

(8)

1 277

(7)

Average

112 844

34 992

46 639

(35)

6 425

(18)

25 538

(19)

4 813

(14)

Papus New Guinea

1998

27 899

10 309

21 511

(77)

3 975

(39)

19 412

(70)

3 185

(31)

1999

28 242

8 293

38 071

(135)

4 75)34

(57)

21 095

(75)

3 479

(42)

2000

52 445

14 870

16 125

(31)

3 722

(25)

15 184

(29)

2 900

(20)

2001

61 050

23 010

10 386

(17)

1 961

(9)

5 235

(9)

899

(4)

2002

81 531

27 339

30 642

(38)

3 603

(13)

25 746

(32)

2 250

(8)

Average

50 234

16 764

23 347

(46)

3 603

(21)

17 334

(35)

2 543

(15)

Philippines

1998

26 358

7 928

7 361

(28)

3 588

(45)

4 855

(18)

2 111

(27)

1999

27 549

6 932

3 778

(14)

2 773

(40)

129

(0)

35

(1)

2000

24 880

8 305

4 83054

(19)

3 687

(44)

3 820

(15)

2 970

(36)

2001

19 573

12 204

2 518

(13)

3 607

(30)

47

(0)

330

(3)

2002

16 343

5 471

1 453

(9)

878

(16)

0

(0)

0

(0)

Average

22 940

8 168

3 983

(17)

2 907

(36)

1 770

(8)

1 089

(13)

Taiwan Province of China

1998

198 472

63 653

70 883

(36)

21 312

(33)

9 533

(5)

3 371

(5)

1999

161 266

45 318

128 556

(80)

27 939

(62)

13 993

(9)

2 713

(6)

2000

186 205

38 515

81 760

(44)

17 896

(46)

40 894

(22)

9 220

(24)

2001

200 284

47 581

34 454

(17)

16 955

(36)

16 733

(8)

6 125

(13)

2002

236 901

28 224

46 416

(20)

6 727

(24)

18 284

(8)

2 466

(9)

Average

196 626

44 658

72 414

(37)

18 166

(41)

19 888

(10)

4 779

(11)

United States

1998

118 745

35 348

26 022

(22)

4 925

(14)

17 396

(15)

1 884

(5)

1999

124 596

35 168

53 073

(43)

24 217

(69)

33 406

(27)

13 872

(39)

2000

78 616

23 434

24 002

(31)

4 326

(18)

10 910

(14)

1 720

(7)

2001

93 263

28 659

32 963

(35)

6 130

(21)

22 715

(24)

3 834

(13)

2002

86 832

25 815

27 852

(32)

5 585

(22)

17 979

(21)

3 779

(15)

Average

100 410

29 685

32 782

(33)

9 037

(30)

20 481

(20)

5 018

(17)

Others

1998

56 913

19 521

11 582

(20)

2 790

(14)

3 887

(7)

1 177

(6)

1999

61 617

22 437

25 388

(41)

6 172

(28)

7 298

(12)

3 435

(15)

2000

65 354

12 757

43 732

(67)

3 241

(25)

23 236

(36)

332

(3)

2001

53 105

14 345

11 807

(22)

1 615

(11)

7 659

(14)

1 143

(8)

2002

61 813

10 941

13 610

(22)

1 523

(14)

9 433

(15)

840

(8)

Average

59 760

16 000

21 224

(36)

3 068

(19)

10 303

(17)

1 385

(9)

All vesselsa

1998

574 708

195 863

188 427

(36)

45 265

(23)

82 891

(16)

15 800

(8)

1999

512 158

150 524

333 572

(67)

70 586

(47)

86 464

(17)

24 901

(17)

2000

671 161

163 419

240 019

(36)

46 222

(28)

143 289

(22)

22 491

(14)

2001

709 167

196 727

162 333

(23)

45 522

(23)

71 298

(10)

18 052

(9)

2002

805 626

140 013

214 540

(27)

29 272

(21)

94 020

(12)

11 352

(8)

Average

714 718

181 623

240 343

(35)

50 361

(28)

98 957

(14)

19 246

(11)

Notes. As no estimates for the Japanese fleet are available for 1998 and 1999 all vessel figures for these years are exclusive of this fleet.

TABLE 4.5
Average vessel capacity utilisation and technical efficiency

Flag

Year

Capacity utilisation

Technical efficiency

Capital utilisation without technical efficiency

Japan

2000

0.87

0.92

0.95

2001

0.85

0.88

0.97

2002

0.80

0.85

0.93

All years

0.84

0.88

0.95

Republic of Korea

1998

0.80

0.96

0.82

1999

0.66

0.76

0.88

2000

0.74

0.97

0.77

2001

0.85

0.95

0.89

2002

0.82

0.89

0.93

All years

0.78

0.91

0.86

Papua New Guinea

1998

0.67

0.96

0.70

1999

0.55

0.85

0.65

2000

0.82

0.99

0.82

2001

0.89

0.95

0.94

2002

0.80

0.96

0.83

All years

0.77

0.95

0.81

Philippines

1998

0.80

0.93

0.86

1999

0.88

0.88

1.00

2000

0.85

0.98

0.88

2001

0.88

0.88

0.99

2002

0.95

0.95

1.00

All years

0.88

0.93

0.95

Taiwan Province of China

1998

0.77

0.81

0.96

1999

0.62

0.68

0.93





2000

0.73

0.87

0.83

2001

0.83

0.91

0.92

2002

0.84

0.91

0.93

All years

0.76

0.83

0.91

United States

1998

0.85

0.94

0.90

1999

0.71

0.91

0.78

2000

0.81

0.90

0.89

2001

0.80

0.93

0.86

2002

0.82

0.94

0.87

All years

0.80

0.92

0.86

Others

1998

0.86

0.91

0.94

1999

0.78

0.81

0.92

2000

0.69

0.83

0.79

2001

0.88

0.96

0.92

2002

0.87

0.96

0.91

All years

0.80

0.89

0.88

The derived estimates indicate that on average during 1998-2002 excess capacity for skipjack, purged for TE, was 137 452 tonnes, and was at its highest in 2000 at 188 991 tonnes and was at its lowest in 2001 at 89 088 tonnes. As indicated in Figure 4.1, excess capacity for skipjack, purged for TE, trended upward during 1998-2000, before declining significantly in 2001 and then increasing again in 2002. A possible driving force behind this pattern is the skipjack price fluctuations experienced over the period, with Bangkok skipjack prices plummeting to record lows in the second half of 1999 and remaining at these depressed levels throughout 2000 (Catarci, this collection). This price decline resulted in revenues below operating costs for some fleets, which led to some vessels tying up for prolonged periods and fishing fewer days than they would normally, particularly in 2000, as reflected in the number of days vessels in most fleets spent searching and fishing in total (Table 4.2) In other words, there was a reduction in the level of utilisation of variable inputs. In early 2001 the prices recovered to some degree, and prices throughout 2001 and 2002 remained significantly above the levels of the second half of 1999 and throughout 2000, and the average time vessels spent fishing and searching in total increased for all fleets except that of Japan, that was higher in 2001 than in 2000.

The derived estimates also indicate that on average during 1998-2002 excess capacity for yellowfin and bigeye combined, purged for TE, was 31 278 tonnes, and at its highest in 1999 at 43 873 tonnes and lowest in 2002 at 16 977 tonnes. As indicated in Figure 4.3, excess capacity for yellowfin and bigeye combined, purged for TE, rose in 1999, before declining continuously to its 2002 level.

4.3.3 Estimated fishing capacity in the WCPO and sustainable fishing mortality on yellowfin and bigeye stocks

The Scientific Co-ordinating Group of the Preparatory Conference for the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific recommended that there be no further increases in fishing mortality rates on yellowfin (particularly juveniles) and bigeye. Based on this recommendation, we compare estimated fishing capacity and fishing capacity, purged for TE. Against a target catch level set at the average yellowfin catch by purse seiners during 2000-2002. Fishing capacity and fishing capacity purged for TE, for yellowfin and bigeye combined with average purse-seine catches during 2000-2002 are compared in Figure 4.5. From this it can be seen that there was significant excess fishing capacity for yellowfin and bigeye when measured as fishing capacity minus average catches from 2000-2002 in the fishery from 1998 to 2002, although this excess capacity existed primarily in 1998 and 1999 and was very low in 2002. During 1998-2002 the average fishing capacity for yellowfin and bigeye combined was in excess of average catches between 2000 and 2002 by 88 762 tonnes or 38 percent.

FIGURE 4.1
Skipjack in the WCPO purse-seine fishery - Excess fishing capacity and excess fishing capacity purged for technical efficiency


FIGURE 4.2
Skipjack in the WCPO purse-seine fishery - Observed catch, fishing capacity and fishing capacity purged for technical efficiency


FIGURE 4.3
Yellowfin and bigeye combined in the WCPO purse-seine fishery - Excess fishing capacity and excess fishing capacity purged for technical efficiency

It can be seen in Figure 4.5 that excess capacity for yellowfin and bigeye, when measured as fishing capacity, purged for TE, minus average catches from 2000-2002 existed in the fishery from 1998 to 2001, but in 2002 there was no excess capacity in the fishery. During 1998-2002 the average fishing capacity, purged for TE, for yellowfin and bigeye combined was in excess of average catches between 2000 and 2002 by 47 666 tonnes or 24 percent.

4.4 Summary and conclusions

The analysis conducted for the WCPO suggests that excess fishing capacity exists for all major fleets, i.e. the purse-seine fleets of Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the Taiwan Province of China and the United States, and for the other fleets as a group.

It was estimated that on average during 1998-2002 purse-seine skipjack fishing capacity was around 240 000 tonnes (35 percent) per annum greater than actual catch levels. However, it noted that when purging for TE excess skipjack fishing capacity was only 99 000 tonnes (14 percent) per annum greater than the actual catch levels. In other words, only around 40 percent of the potential increase in catches could be realised through increases in variable input usage, given the biomass, environmental conditions and the state of technology that prevailed over this period. Estimated excess fishing capacity, purged for TE, was at its highest level in 2000. It was hypothesised that this may have been caused by low skipjack prices in the second half of 1999 and throughout 2000, resulting in vessels reducing the number of days spent searching and fishing (Catarci, this collection).

For yellowfin and bigeye combined it was estimated that during 1998-2002 excess purse-seine fishing capacity was around 50 000 tonnes (28 percent) per annum greater than the actual catches. However, it noted that when purging for TE excess yellowfin and bigeye fishing capacity was only 19 000 tonnes (11 percent) per annum greater than the actual catches. In other words, only around 40 percent of the potential increase in catches could be realised through increases in variable input usage, given the biomass, environmental conditions and the state of technology that prevailed over this period. It was also estimated that on average during 1998-2002 fishing capacity, purged for TE, for yellowfin and bigeye combined was in excess of the average catches between 2000-2002 by 47 666 tonnes or 24 percent, but that no excess capacity existed in the fishery in 2002, when measured against average 2000-2002 catch levels.

FIGURE 4.4
Yellowfin and bigeye combined in the WCPO purse-seine fishery - Observed catch, fishing capacity and fishing capacity purged for technical efficiency


FIGURE 4.5
Yellowfin and bigeye combined in the WCPO purse-seine fishery - Average catch 2000-2002 vs. fishing capacity purged for technical efficiency


[22] The number of days spent fishing and searching is provided as an aggregated total.
[23] Pers. com. Colin Miller, Fisheries IT Specialist, Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
[24] Pers. com. Naozumi Miyabe, Chief, Tropical Tuna Section, NRIFSF.
[25] Not all vessel operating in the WCPO appear on the FFA regional register, for example, a portion of the New Zealand purse-seine fleet operates exclusive within New Zealand waters and are not on the register.
[26] Pers. com. John Hampton, Oceanic Fisheries Programme Manager, Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
[27] See footnote 7.
[28] See Section 3.
[29] Variable returns to scale were allowed by imposing the constraint 3 zj = 1.0 in problem [1].

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