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Distributions, Histories, and Recent Catch Trends with Six Fish Taxa Taken as Incidental Catch by the Hawai'i-based Commercial Longline Fishery

Progress Reports (PDF):
FY 2005, FY 2004, FY 2003, FY 2002, FY 2001

Project Overview
Project investigators will conduct comprehensive statistical research into the geographical distributions, histories, and recent catch trends of six fish taxa sometimes characterized as non-target or incidental catch in the Hawaii-based commercial longline fishery. An understanding of species distributions is needed to assess the likely effects of management policies (e.g., area closures) instituted in response to requirements of conservation law. Accurate catch rate histories are required to evaluate fishery trends and stability of individual species, and to identify statistical relationships between catch rates and extrinsic factors that might be masked (or created) by false or erroneous data. The fishes of interest to this project together comprised almost half (43.4%, numerical basis) of the catch of the Hawaii-based longline fleet from January 1991 through December 1998 (Walsh, unpublished data):

  • Blue shark (Prionace glauca)
  • Dolphin fish, or "mahimahi" (Coryphaena hippurus)
  • Blue marlin (Makaira nigricans)
  • Moonfish, or "opah" (Lampris guttatus)
  • Wahoo, or "ono" (Acanthocybium solandri)
  • Three species of pomfrets: Pacific pomfret (Brama japonica), bigscale pomfret (Taractichthys steindachneri), and dagger pomfret (Taractes rubescens)

Project researchers will examine data gathered by the Hawaii Longline Observer Program (National Marine Fisheries Service), logbook records submitted by the Hawaii-based longline fleet, and sales records from public fish auctions conducted at the United Fishing Agency (UFA) in Honolulu, Hawaii. As in previous data comparison studies researchers hope to identify the specific factors that distort historical catch trends (e.g. mis-identification, under-reporting). Researchers also plan to develop a generalized additive model (GAM) to address the issues of possible data inaccuracies. A data set for each taxon will be prepared that represents the most accurate possible reconstruction of its catch history since January 1991. This will also include full documentation regarding amendments to the original records. Project investigators will also provide a reliable description of species distribution and develop a GAM for each taxon. Time permitting, as many as six other taxa will also be included in this project.

Year 1 funding received November 2000.


Project Investigators:
Dr. William A. Walsh
National Marine Fisheries Service
Honolulu Laboratory
2570 Dole Street, Room 212
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
Phone (808) 983-5346
FAX (808) 983-2902
email: William.Walsh@noaa.gov
Dr. Samuel Pooley
National Marine Fisheries Service
Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Honolulu Laboratory
2570 Dole Street, Room 219
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
Phone (808) 983-5320
FAX (808) 983-2902
email: spooley@honlab.nmfs.hawaii.edu


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This page updated August 22, 2006