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Comparative study of skipjack tuna Katsuwonus pelamis (Scombridae) fishery stocks from the South Atlantic and western Indian oceans
Lol I. Dahlet, Nicola Downey-Breedt, Gabriel Arce, Warwick H.H. Sauer, Maria A. Gasalla

The skipjack tuna, Katsuwonus pelamis, inhabits tropical and subtropical oceans the world over, and contributes substantially to total tuna catches. Both fishing pressure and anthropic influences affect skipjack populations, impacting on economic returns and investment. The present study analyses and compares spatial time series of catch and catch per unit effort (CPUE), of pole-and-line fishing of skipjack tuna from Brazil, South Africa and the Maldives. Both regional and inter-regional analyses were conducted for the period 1970-2014 in order to ultimately investigate potential associations between these fisheries, climatic conditions and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Correlation tests and spatial mapping tools were used. From 2004 to 2011, South African skipjack catches correlated positively with Brazilian ones and negatively with Maldivians. CPUEs from the Brazilian and Maldivian skipjack fisheries showed a significant positive correlation in the period 1982-1993. Yearly catches from all regions were strongly associated with the Northern Oscillation Index (p<0.001), an ENSO index. This study reflects an effort to articulate an inter-regional appraisal of skipjack pole-and-line fisheries embedded in the context of a globally changing climate, in the face of which emerging economies are the most vulnerable. Evidence of common patterns influencing these fisheries should encourage international South-South cooperative management and understanding of the resource.

Keywords: fisheries; inter-regional oceans; ENSO; teleconnections; tRFMOs; bonito
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 83(1) : 19-30 Back PDF
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