Atlantic Bluefin (ABFT) tuna is an emblematic migratory large pelagic species, commercially valuable and whose exploitation depends on its migrations. The current activity of purse seiners, about 60 percent of the total landings, is based on spawning migrations in the Mediterranean. In the Gulf of Lions the local longline fishery targets juvenile individuals whose availability depends on environmental conditions. in the Atlantic, baitboats in the basque country catch small individuals and pelagic trawlers individuals of varying size, generally bigger as they operate more northern. The past 5 years ABFT has been spotted in Brittany and in the Channel, where it has been quite rare to see it during the past 60 years or so. Any change in migratory behaviour would thus have a considerable impact on exploitation seasons and areas. In the current context of climate change and rebuilding of the stock, understanding processes associated to ABFT migratory behaviour and accounting for them in management processes are therefore essential to a sustainable exploitation.
Ecological questions are: What are the migrations of ABFT targeted by the french fisheries ? What are the biological processes at play in migrations and what is their relative importance in the context of climate change ? The PROMPT project aims at tackling these issues through I) the analysis of ABFT trajectories on the different french fisheries segments, II) studying the influence of environmental conditions on the abundance index provided by France and obtained from aerial surveys and III) by developing new observation tools to describe and understand the migratory response of ABFT to climate change.
The project is a collaboration between:
- Ifremer, MARBEC and DOI, FRANCE
- CNRS, MARBEC and LIRMM, FRANCE
- SATHOAN, FRANCE
- University of Copenhagen, DENMARK
- AQUABIOTECH, MALTA
- Les Pêcheurs de Bretagne, FRANCE
PROMPT is funded by France Filière Pêche