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Corporate AuthorSeychelles Fishing Authority
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AbstractData used to generate the tables and figures presented here are based on daily catch and effort forms (1ogbooks') returned from fishing vessels which are licensed to fish in the Seychelles EEZ. Sometimes there is a delay in these being received at SFA, especially during and just after the second quarter of the year when most vessels are fishing in the Mozambique Channel. Readers should be aware that many of the figures presented here (especially the most recent) are subject to revision (usually upwards) as more data become available. The date upon which the SFA database was closed prior o the generation of the statistical tables is shown at the head of each table. Purse seiners Principal Points - The revised total purse seine tuna catch for the western Indian Ocean in 1994 is now 279,833 t. This is the highest catch reported since records began. The previous highest recorded catch was 278,218 t in 1992. However, while the 1992 catch was the product of an average of 53 licensed vessels per month at an annual CPUE of 20.27 t/day, the 1994 catch was the result of an average of 50 licensed vessels per month at an annual CPUE of 22.27 t/day. - Some 12,567 days were fished in 1994 compared to 14,368 in the whole of 1993. The decrease was chiefly due to the lack of Japanese effort in the fishery: decreasing from 2,029 days in 1993 to only 19 days in 1994. Despite a 13% decrease in total effort the catch increased by 1% and resulted in a rise in CPUE from 19.27t/day in 1993 to 22.27 t/day in 1994. - The cumulative catch by the 30th of June 1995 was 125,243 t compared to 135,175 t by the same date in 1994. Not all logbooks for the period have yet been received. - The catch within the second quarter of 1995 was 57,507 t. This comprised 14,963 t (26%) yellow fin (Thunnus albacares) and 33,300 t (58%) skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis). The remaining 9,244 t (16%) was mainly big eye (Thunnus obesus) and albacore (Thunnus alalunga). This compares with the catch within the second quarter of 1994 when some 14,400 t (24 %) of yellow fin was caught, together with 38,557 t (66%) of skipjack and 5,831 t (10%) of big eye and albacore. - Readers should be well aware that the catch compositions given here are NOT based on scientific sampling but on the assessment of the fishermen who write the daily catch and effort reports and who decide into which group fish should be placed. They may be biased. - Within the second quarter of 1995 2,932 days were fished compared to 2,825 in the equivalent quarter of last year. This is an increase in effort of 3.7%. - The CPUE within the second quarter of 1995 was 19.61 t/day compared to 20.80 t/day in the equivalent quarter of last year. - It should be well noted that the figures in Table 3 (Purse seiner transshipment statistics by harbor of transshipment) represent the transshipments of vessels whose trips ENDED in the month indicated and NOT the actual month of physical transshipment of the catch. - Transshipments through Victoria amounted to 14,989 t in the second quarter. This is a 17% increase compared to 12,819 t in the second quarter of 1994. Transshipments through Antsiranana amounted to 34,517 t during the same quarter reflecting the usual concentration of purse seine activity in the Mozambique Channel. The Antsiranana figure is based on transshipment records received at SFA up to September 1995. However, the Association Thoniere in their Note Trimestrielle for July 1995 indicate that 39,293 t had been transshipped through Antsiranana during the second quarter and that the total transshipped this year is 56,090 t. (SFA records so far received have reached 46,797t). In 1994 some 42,469t. were transshipped within the equivalent quarter through Antsiranana and a cumulative total of 72,731t. had passed through the port by the end of the second quarter. There has therefore been a 23 % decrease in the total amount of fish transshipped via Antsiranana this year compared to 1994 (Based on the SFA Tuna Bulletin a total of 72,731t. by the 30th of June 1994 and the Note Trimestrielle a total of 56,090t - which is probably the most accurate figure presently available by the end of the equivalent quarter of this year). - This year most purse seine fishing activity has been concentrated west of 60° East longitude. This is a significant difference in the annual fishing pattern, compared to 1994 when there was considerable fishing activity in the Chagos area. Whatever the cause might be, high catch rates obtainable in the western most part of the Indian Ocean appear to have been a salient practical factor in retaining the fleet in this area limiting the sampling of the other parts. The nature of the linkage between physical environmental conditions in the ocean and the catch is at present the subject of investigation by the French research organization ORSTOM based at the SFA headquarters in Victoria. Since the Tuna Bulletin for the first quarter of 1995 was produced we have received very few daily catch effort records forms for 1995 (8 logbooks by September 7th). This underlines the very slow reporting rate of longliners in general. Readers should be aware that these statistics represent only a small proportion of long liner activity in the WIO because: - Not all long liners fishing in the WIO have a license to fish in the Seychelles EEZ and are therefore under no legal obligation to report to SFA; - Not all those with a Seychelles license provide daily catch and effort logbooks; - Some Distant Water Fishing Nations (DWFN) provide SFA with daily catch and effort forms covering their activity in the whole Indian Ocean while others confine their reports to the Seychelles EEZ. Principal points are: - Longliner activity is concentrated at the beginning or end of the year (first and last quarter) with little or no fishing from May to August; - Catch rates appear to decrease as effort increases and increase as effort decreases (see graphs); The reported catch so far in 1995 (data are available for Japan and Taiwan covering January and February only) is 141 t at a catch rate of 0.379 t/1000 hooks. This compares to the first two months of 1994 when 1,285 t were reported caught at a mean catch rate of 0.321 t/1000 hooks. The total catch figures are expected to increase as more logbooks come in to SFA. Maps 3 and 4 show the areas from which long line, fishing was reported in 1994 and the FIRST quarter of 1995 (Two months only). The reported catches per 1° square are small they do not show up well on the map; effort has therefore been used as a better indicator of area of fishing activity. The graphics provide a summary of the SFA long line database covering the last ten years. The last twenty seven months are covered in detail so that it is possible to compare the quarter being reported on with the similar quarters of the two previous years and detect seasonal fishing patterns.
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