Séminaire : BELL Johann

Prof. Johann Bell

Conservation International

Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security - University of Wollongong

donnera une conférence intitulée :

Reducing mortality of bigeye tuna during purse-seine fishing: A research agenda


Progressive expansion of purse-seine fishing for tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO), and continued longline fishing, has resulted in the spawning biomass of bigeye tuna in the WCPO falling below the limit reference point agreed by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). The problem has arisen because much of the recent purse-seine fishing in the WCPO has been for tuna associated with drifting fish aggregating devices (FADs), and because most bigeye tuna caught by purse seine are taken around FADs. Conservation and management measures introduced by WCPFC to reduce the mortality of bigeye tuna – banning the setting of purse-seine nets around FADs for several months each year; closing the high seas pockets to purse-seine fishing; prohibiting the discarding of small tuna at sea; placing observers on all purse-seine vessels and imposing annual catch limits for bigeye tuna in the longline fishery – have not had the desired effect. The total number of FAD sets has not declined and large catches of bigeye tuna continue to be taken by purse-seine vessels in the WCPO, with catches in 2013 and 2014 among the highest on record. The various issues and constraints involved in managing the purse-seine fishery to reduce the fishing mortality of bigeye tuna would be largely removed if practical methods could be developed to maintain high catch rates of skipjack tuna from FAD fishing while reducing the bigeye tuna catch. This has been recognised for some time and possible solutions have been investigated by several organisations, such as the International Sustainable Seafood Foundation (ISSF). This seminar is based on a recent report by Conservation International. It describes: 1) previous and existing initiatives to reduce the catch of bigeye tuna around FADs;  2) additional research to determine whether practical methods for reducing the catch of bigeye tuna around FADs can be developed; and  3) ways of supporting and stimulating such research.