Dolphinfish fisheries in the Caribbean region
Robin Mahon

Dolphinfish are targeted throughout the Western Central Atlantic region by recreational fishers, small-scale artisanal fishers, and small longliners. They are also taken as by-catch on large-scale commercial longlines. Catches are highly seasonal and exhibit considerable interannual variability. According to the landing statistics provided by countries to FAO, dolphinfish ranked seventh overall in reported average annual landings of large pelagic fishes in the Western Central Atlantic from 1989 to 1993. Yellowfin tuna, Spanish mackerel, skipjack tuna, king mackerel, swordfish and Atlantic bonito ranked ahead of dolphinfish. There is a trend of increasing total annual landings from about 1,700 mt in 1970-74 to about 2,800 mt in 1989-1993. Landings are reported to FAO by only eight countries, whereas dolphinfish are known to be caught in most of the region´s 34 countries. By-catch on longlines and recreational landings are also largely unreported. Therefore, it is likely that the reported landings are a substantial underestimate. The relative importance of dolphinfish to pelagic fisheries varies from one part of the region to another. In the Lesser Antilles it is the most important large pelagic fish in terms of amounts landed. The absence of a large-scale commercial fishery targeting dolphinfish appears to have resulted in a lack of recognition of its contribution, particularly in developing countries of the region. Consequently, its biology and assessment have been neglected in relation to the attention given to other large pelagic fishes, mainly tunas and tuna-like fishes which have been the focus of ICCAT assessment activities.

Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 63(3-4) : 411-420 Back PDF
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