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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 (logbooks) 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 to the generation of the statistical tables is shown at the head of each table. Purse seiners Principal Points - The total purse seine tuna catch for the Western Indian Ocean in 1995 is now 307,135t. This is the highest catch reported since record began. The previous highest recorded catch was 280,114t in 1994. However, while the 1994 catch was the product of an average of 51 vessels licensed per month at an annual CPUE of 20.21t/fishing day, the 1995 catch was the result of an average of 52 vessels licensed per month at an annual CPUE of 21.27 t/fishing day. The highest annual CPUE on record was recorded in 1992 at 22.27t/fishing day. - Some 2,785 days were fished in the third quarter of 1996 compared to 3,390 days for the equivalent period of 1995. The efforts recorded for the third quarter of 1996 are some 605 days short of that recorded for the same period in 1995. - The catch within the third quarter of 1996, based on the available logbooks, was 73,896t. This comprised of 29,398t (40%) yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) and 38,163t (52%) skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis). The remaining 6,335t (8%) was mainly bigeye (Thunnus obesus) and albacore (Thunnus alalunga). This compares with the catch within the third quarter of 1995 when some 31,577t (38%) of yellowfin was caught, together with 39,889t (48%) of skipjack and 11,455t (14%) of bigeye 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. - The CPUE within the third quarter of 1996 was 26.53t/fishing day compared to 24.46t/fishing day in the equivalent quarter of the previous year. - It should be noted that the figures in Table 3 (Purse seiner transshipment statistics by harbour 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 38,553t in the third quarter of 1996. This is a decrease of about 33% compared to the figures obtained in the third quarter of 1995, when 57,096t of tuna were transshipped. The transshipment figure for the third quarter of this year is unusually low; this is attributed to the fact that many vessels transshipped their catch in Mombasa during those three months. The French fleet which had in the past used Port Victoria as their transshipment base during the third quarter had also transshipped in Mombasa. However, we are awaiting official figures to compare the increase in transshipment activities in Mombasa between the third quarter of 1996 and the third quarter of 1995. Antsiranana, which in the past two years had not seen any transshipment activities during the months of August and September, has this year seen a total of 3,880t of tuna transshipped there. - During the third quarter of 1996 most of the fishing activities had shifted to the north and north-west of the Seychelles EEZ, off the coast of Kenya and Somalia, in the nutrient rich upwelling water of the Somali Basin. Compared to the same period of the previous year very little fishing activity was recorded in the waters of Seychelles. Longliners Readers should be aware that these statistics only represent a small sample of longliner activity in the W10 because: - Not all longliners fishing in the WIO have a license to fish in the Seychelles EEZ and therefore are under no obligation to report to the SFA. - Not all those with a Seychelles license provide daily log sheets especially the Taiwanese and the South Korean vessels. - Some distant water fishing nations (DWFN) provide SFA with log sheets covering their activity in the whole of the Indian Ocean whilst others confine their reports to the Seychelles EEZ. At the time of generating the tables only 22 logbooks have been received from 298 vessels licensed to fish in the Seychelles EEZ in 1995. For 1996, 19 logbooks have been returned to date. This underlines the poor and very slow reporting rate of longliners in general. Analysis of the data available for 1996 shows that: - A total catch of 963 tones from a total effort of 1,202,280 hooks has been reported for the first 9 months of 1996. The mean CPUE recorded for this period was 0.80t/1000 hooks. - During the third quarter of 1996 the long liner fishing activities were inside the south-eastern boundary of the Seychelles EEZ (Map 4). - Yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) dominated the catch during these first 9 months. It accounted for 60% of the total catch whilst bigeye (Thunnus obesus) comprised 25%. The remaining 15% were made up of other species (billfishes).
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