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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 1996 is now 265,658 t. This catch was achieved by an average of 49 vessels licensed per month. The total effort recorded for the purse seine fleet during 1996 was 12,948 fishing days, thus giving a mean catch rate of 20.52 t/fishing day. The highest recorded catch so far was in 1995 when 307,135 t of tuna were caught. 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 obtained in 1992 at 22.27 Wishing day. The catch within the third quarter of 1997, was 61,927 t. This comprised of 15,287 t (25%) yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) and 41,355 t (67%) skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis). The remaining 5,285 t (8%) was mainly big eye (Thunnus abesus) and albacore (Thunnus alalunga). This compares with the catch within the third quarter of 1996 when some 31,222 t (39%) of yellowfin was caught, together with 42,235 t (53%) of skipjack and 6,855 t (8%) of bigeye and albacore. • Some 3,732 days were fished in the third quarter of 1997 compared to 3,089 days for the equivalent period of 1996. The effort recorded for the third quarter of 1997 are some 643 days above that recorded for the same period in 1996. Considering that not all logbooks for the period under review have been received at the SFA, this difference between the two years is expected to increase further once all logbooks have been collected and processed. 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 1997 was 16.59 t/fishing day compared to 26.00 t/fishing day in the equivalent quarter of the previous year. It should be noted that the figures in Table 3 (Purse seiner transhipment statistics by harbour of transhipment) represent the transhipments of vessels whose trips ENDED in the month indicated and NOT the actual month of physical transhipment of the catch. Tanshipments through Victoria for the whole of 1996 was 163,657 t compared to 185,489 tin 1995. The overall decrease in transhipment in Port Victoria during 1996 is the result of the lower catch during 1996 rather than a decrease in importance of Port Victoria. This is reflected in the total transhipped in Port Victoria as a function of the total transhipped through all ports, whereby 61% of the total transhipment during 1996 took place in Port Victoria, as has been the case for the last two years. Within the third quarter transhipment in Port Victoria totalled 49,387 t this is an increase of 16 % compared to the figures obtained in the third quarter of 1996. when 42,433 t of tuna were transhipped. • Fishing grounds exploited during the third quarter of 1997 are similar to those of the same quarter of 1996. However, more fish were caught to the north-east of the Somali Basin than in the equivalent quarter of the previous year. Longliners Readers should be aware that these statistics only represent a small sample of longliner activity in the W1O because: • Not all longliners fishing in the WIO have a licence to fish in the Seychelles EEZ and therefore are under no obligation to report to SFA. • Not all those with a Seychelles licence provide daily log sheets especially the Taiwanese and the Koreans, • Some Distant Water Fishing Nations (DWFN) provide SFA with log sheets covering their activity in the whole Indian Ocean while others confine their reports to the Seychelles EEZ. The statistics published for 1996 are related to only 56 logbooks received at the date of publication of this bulletin. 21 logbooks were received from the Japanese, 16 logbooks were received from the Taiwanese, 11 logbooks were received from the French and 8 logbooks were received from the South Koreans. A total of 342 licences were issued in 1996 , compared to 292 licences issued for 1995. For the third quarter of 1997, only 17 logbooks have been received to date and 180 licences have been issued. This underlines the poor and very slow reporting rate of longliners in general. When more data will be available, these statistics will be revised. Analysis of data collected to date show that: • A fishing effort of 5147,413 hooks for a total catch of 2240 MT has been reported for 1996. The mean CPUE for the same period was 0.44 t/I000 hooks. The mean CPUE by nationality was: 0.63t/1000 hooks for the French, 0.53t/1000 hooks for the Japanese 0.31 0000 hooks for the South Koreans, 0.21tJI000 hooks for the Taiwanese fleet. and 0.40 t/1000 hooks for the Spanish fleet. • Up to the third quarter of 1997, a total fishing effort of 980,941 hooks for a total catch of 574 MT has been reported. The mean CPUE for the third quarter of 1997 was 0.23 t/1000 hooks. The mean CPUE reported by nationality was : 0.28 t/I000 hooks for the Japanese and 0.18 t/1000 hooks for the South Koreans. • The species composition for the third quarter of 1997, according to logbooks received; YeBowfin (Thus ups albacores) comprised 45% of the total catch, Bigeye (Mama obesus) comprised 45% and other species (billfishes) comprised 10%.of the total catch. • The principal fishing areas for the third quarter of 1997 were located: at the east and south eastern part inside and outside the Seychelles EEZ (see map no. 4).
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