We are accumulating potentially valuable data from the offshore handline fishery. It is clear from this preliminary analysis that the data contain a strong signal about dynamics of tuna populations in the offshore fishing grounds. This analysis pro vides a basic theoretical framework from which to interpret these data. I look forward to a second round of analysis as the data accumulate.
This project was instigated in a large part by the concern of “stakeholders” in the fishery. The fishermen themselves were the first to express concern over the viability of the resource. It was also the cooperation of the fishermen that enabled us to complete the tagging work.
In 1998, we will extend the tagging work to include more of the Hawaii EEZ. The PFRP has also sponsored a project to use archival tags to begin to learn about the longer term movements of bigeye. Deployment of these tags will coincide with the extens ion of the tagging project. This new initiatives come at a time of growing concern throughout the Pacific about recent trends to exploit juvenile bigeye in other fisheries. The University of Hawaii is in a leadership position.