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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 ore data become available. The date upon which the SFA database was closed prior 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 279,883 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 vessels licensed per month at an annual CPUE of 20.27 t/day, the 1994 catch was the result of an average of 50 vessels licensed per month at an annual CPUE of 22.27 t/day. - Some 12,569 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 30` of September 1995 was 207,347 t compared to 202,277 t by the same date in 1994. Not all logbooks for the period have yet been received. - The catch within the third quarter of 1995 was 75,160 t. This comprised 27,249 t (36%) yellow fin (Thunnus albacares) and 36,504 t (49%) skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis). The remaining 11, 407 t (15%) was mainly big eye (Thunnus obesus) and albacore (Thunnus alalunga). This compares with the catch within the third quarter of 1994 when some 12,874 t (19%) of yellow fin was caught, together with 4, 4, 803 t (67%) of skipjack and 9,388 t (14%) 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 third quarter of 1995 2,983 days were fished compared to 3,346 days in the equivalent quarter of last year. This is a decrease in effort of almost 11%. - The CPUE within the third quarter of 1995 was 25.20 t/day compared to 20.04 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 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 56,473 t in the third quarter. This is an increase of almost 24 % compared to 45,684 t in the third quarter of 1994. No transshipments figures have been received yet for Antsiranana - This quarter most the purse seine fishing activities has been concentrated between Seychelles and Kenya/Tanzania; that is a more southern area than the usual fishing grounds located in the Somali basin at this period during the past years. Longliners 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 longliner activity the WIO because: - Not all longliners 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 0.321t /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 longline fishing was reported in 1994 and the FIRST quarter of 1995 (Two months only). The reported catch per 1° square are small, they do not show up well on the map, therefore, effort has been used as a better indicator of areas 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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