SFA Fisheries Statistical Report
Fisheries Statistical Report Year 2020The Seychelles Fisheries Statistical Report is a comprehensive source of information for the commercial fishing industry, fisheries managers, policymakers, and researchers. Since 2014 the report has presented annual updates of fisheries statistics on a bi-annual basis. The report contains data on the volume of production from Seychelles artisanal, semi-industrial, industrial longline and purse seine fishery by vessel type, species, and geographical locations. Profiles of each fishery, summary of data collection and processing procedures are also provided. Readers should note that in 2017 SFA implemented a new data management system for artisanal fishery which created delays in data capture and the delays in publication of this report. SFA wishes to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the delay of this publication. Information on recreational, sea cucumber, lobster and sport fishery is not included in this current edition but will be included progressively in future editions. As a result, the publication gives only a partial estimate of the total volume of local fishery production. Readers should note that some figures presented in this bulletin may be different to previously published because these figures may have been revised following thorough verifications carried out on the data following database upgrading, new data received that were previously missing, revised EEZ shape file used or data validation using VMS data. Also, some of the figures presented may be subject to revision (usually upwards) as more data become available. Since space is a limiting factor in some tables, flag country appearing in these tables is included based on their total catch. The remaining flags are classified under “OTHERS”. Flag countries with only one vessel are automatically placed under “OTHERS” to preserve the confidentiality of data pertaining to the vessel.
Fisheries Statistical Report Year 2021This Seychelles Fisheries Statistical Report present annual updates of fisheries statistics for the industrial, semi-industrial, artisanal, sea cucumber and lobster fishery by vessel type, species, and geographical locations for the year 2021. Profiles of each fishery, summary of data collection and processing procedures are also provided. For the purse seine fishery, 46 purse seiners holding licences to fish inside the Seychelles EEZ reported a total catch of 412,922 MT in the in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), for the year 2021. This represents a 17% increase over the estimated catch of 353,675 MT reported in the year 2020. The Spanish fleet accounted for 38% of the total catch in the WIO for year 2021, whilst the Seychelles and French fleet accounted for 30% and 19% respectively. A total catch of 43,001 MT was reported inside the Seychelles EEZ during the year 2021 representing a 55% decrease from the 95,668 MT reported for the year 2020. This corresponds to a decrease of 49% in fishing effort in 2021 when compared to the previous year. It is worth noting that the catches and effort reported in 2021, was the lowest recorded inside Seychelles EEZ since 2013 and the decrease may be due to the change in fishing ground, with higher availability of tuna outside Seychelles EEZ. In terms of species composition, Skipjack tuna dominated the total purse seine catches, accounting for 61% of the total catch followed by yellowfin and bigeye tuna representing 29%, and 9% of the total catch respectively. Skipjack, yellowfin, and bigeye tuna catches increased by 13%, 8% and 122% respectively in 2021 when compared to the year 2020. It is worth noting that in 2021, SFA encountered technical issues with its purse seine data processing software which did not allow for the species composition corrections. Hence the species composition provided here may change following species composition correction. The Seychelles flagged purse seiners reported a total catch of 122,855 MT in the WIO in 2021, achieved from a fishing effort of 3,027 fishing days thus giving a mean catch rate of 40.60 MT/fishing day. This represents an increase of 9% in catches and a slight decrease of 6% in fishing effort. In 2020 the Seychelles purse seine fleet reported a total catch of 112,231 MT obtained from a fishing effort of 3,221 fishing days with a mean catch rate of 34.84 MT/fishing day. Species composition of the Seychelles purse seine fleet in the year 2021 comprised of 24% yellowfin tuna (29,407MT), 66% of skipjack tuna (81,390MT) and 9% of bigeye tuna (11,230MT). This represents a decrease of 4% in yellowfin tuna catches and an increased of 8% and 91% in skipjack and bigeye tuna respectively. Like previous years, Port Victoria remained the principal port for tuna transhipment and landing by purse seiners in the WIO during the year 2021. A total of 387,992 MT of tuna was unloaded through port Victoria compared to 335,074 MT in 2020. This represents 93% of the total landing and transhipment for that year and a 16% increase from the previous year. For the industrial longline fishery, 188 vessels licensed to fish in the Seychelles EEZ during year 2021 reported an estimated catch of 25,340 MT, obtained from a fishing effort of approximately 66.6 million hooks. This resulted in a mean catch rate of 0.38 MT/1000 hooks, a much lower catch rate than 0.55 MT/1000 hooks estimated for the previous year. The total catch reported by 162 vessels in the year 2020 was 31,496 MT, obtained from a fishing effort of approximately 57.4 million hooks. Only 58% of the total reported catch or 14,575 MT of fish were reported to have been caught inside of the Seychelles EEZ during the year 2021 despite an increase of 49% in fishing effort inside the Seychelles EEZ. In terms of species composition, bigeye tuna catches accounted for 41% of the total catch whilst Yellowfin tuna, swordfish and the `others’ category represented 27%, 7% and 16% of the total catch comparable to the year 2020. During the year 2021, the 64 Seychelles flagged industrial longliners reported an estimated catch of 14,526 MT representing a decrease of 35% in catches despite just a slight decrease of 2% in fishing effort. During the previous year, the 62 Seychelles flagged vessels reported a total catch of 22,469 MT. Species composition of the Seychelles industrial longline fleet in the year 2021 comprised of 21% yellowfin tuna (3064.2MT), 40% of bigeye tuna (5825.8MT) and 24% of “other species” (3549.7MT). This represents a decrease of 61% and 21% in yellowfin and bigeye tuna catches respectively and an increase of 36% in catches of “Other species”. In the semi-industrial fishery, a total of 375 fishing trips targeting tuna and swordfish were conducted by 41 semi-industrial longliners in the year 2021. This represents an increase of 23% in number of trips targeting swordfish and tuna over the 306 fishing trips conducted in 2020 by 35 vessels. The total catches by the Semi industrial vessels increased by 18% to reached 1,759 MT compared to 1,485 Mt the previous year corresponding to an increase of 36% in fishing effort. In terms of species composition, yellowfin tuna accounted for 89% of the total catch followed by swordfish and bigeye tuna accounting for 6% and 3% of the total catch, respectively. During the previous year, the semi-industrial catches was dominated by yellowfin (86%) followed by swordfish (9%) and bigeye tuna (4%). The mean number of boats operating per month in the artisanal fishery, during the first semester of year 2021 has increased to 327 boats active per month when compared to a mean of 303 boats active per month during the first semester of the year 2020 (the covid19 pandemic period). The highest increased was observed in the mean number of schooner active, 56 in 2021 compared to 43 in the year 2020. The artisanal fleet was still dominated by outboard vessels accounting for 62% of the fleet with whalers and schooners accounting for 19% and 17% respectively. During the first semester of the year 2021, the total artisanal catches increased by 28% to reach 2346 MT compared to a total catch of 1833 MT estimated for the same period the previous year. Typical of previous years, the handline fishery dominated artisanal fisheries catches, accounting for 70% of total landings during the first six months of 2021.The most important species groups landed for the first semester of the year 2021 were carangues (24%), bourgeois (14%) and job (11%). During the first six months of the year 2021, the total fishing effort for handline, trap and net fishery increase by 43%, 58% and 41% respectively. The Catch rate for the handline and net fishery decreased during the first semester of the year 2021 when compared to same period the previous year. The catch rate for trap fishery has remained unchanged. For the sea cucumber fishery, the landings in numbers for the 2020/2021 fishing season were 243,169 Flower teatfish, 53,241 White teatfish, and 38,494 Prickly redfish. This represents a decrease of 10% and 22% for Flower teatfish and White teatfish respectively and an increase of 4% for Prickly redfish compare to the 2019/2020 season. Fishing efforts have increased over the years, with 155 trips completed in 2020-2021, two trips less than the 2019/2020 season. The lobster fishery catch fluctuates from season to seasons. The highest catch of 6.1 MT was recorded in the 2020/2021 season, whereas the lowest catch of 0.61 MT was recorded in the 2013/2014 season. A notable peak in catch was recorded in 2019/2020 following a two-year closure. In terms of catch composition for the targeted species, historically P. penicillatus dominated the catch for all seasons with an average of 2.9 MT per season, followed by P. longipes with an average of 0.9 MT per seasons. A total of 242 fishing trips were recorded during the 2020/2021 season compared to only 196 trips in 2019/2020 representing an increase of 23%.