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Fishery Dynamics in the Samoan Archipelago
Increased longline catches in the small spatial areas of the Samoa EEZs have prompted concerns of local resource depletion; the Samoa EEZ is the smallest in the Pacific. Catch competition may be occurring within the individual fisheries or a fishery interaction may be occurring between fisheries in the archipelago, as the concentration of fishery effort in the American Samoa EEZ now exceeds anything previously seen in fisheries managed by the WPRFMC.
Given the value of locally-based longline fishing to the economies of both American Samoa and Samoa, the proposed project will investigate three approaches to improve the understanding of resource availability to Samoa-based domestic fisheries:
The proposed study will concentrate on the dynamics of south Pacific albacore because albacore comprises most of the catch in longline fisheries (~72% in the A. Samoa fishery) and landings are indicative of actual catches due to a low discard rates. Other species (e.g. yellowfin, bigeye, wahoo) will be addressed if time permits. Arrangements have been made with the pertinent Pacific fishery agencies - WPacFIN, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, and Samoa Fisheries Division - to ensure that the data will be made available.
the spatial and temporal dynamics and fishery interaction of longline
fisheries within and around the American Samoa EEZ
of albacore fishery dynamics in other Pacific Island countries longline
to the regional albacore stock assessment
The current assessment uses nominal fishing effort for each fishery and assumes independent catchability amongst all the fisheries, with the exception of the Taiwanese longline fishery which has historically targeted albacore in the subtropics and higher latitudes. The quality of the assessment could be improved by incorporating information on vertical habitat utilization by albacore, longline gear configuration and fishing depth information to enable estimation of effective longline fishing effort. The project will use information on habitat and gear information from another PFRP project, Comparisons of Catch Rates for Target and Incidentally Taken Fishes in Widely Separated Areas of the Pacific Ocean (Walsh), to apply habitat-based or statistical habitat-based models (Bigelow et al. 2002, 2003) to estimate effective longline fishing effort as a comparison with nominal fishing effort within the MULTIFAN-CL framework. The inclusion of effective longline effort should reduce the bias due to catchability in the assessment and assist in model stability.
Year 1 funding for this 2-year project to be available mid 2004.
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)
Oceanic Fisheries Programme
Noumea Cedex 98848
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Meteorology
P.O. Box 1874
This page updated September 28, 2010