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An efficient way of bait-fishing for tunas recently developed in Senegal

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 July 1994

Alain Fonteneau
ORSTOM, 213 rue Lafayette, 75010 Paris, France
Taib Diouf
ISRA, CRODT - Centre de recherches océanographiques de Dakar-Thiaroye, BP 2241, Dakar, Senegal
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A new fishing method has been developed during the last twelve years by the tuna baitboats fishing seasonaly (from July to December) in the area of Senegal and Mauritania (West Africa, 12 to 21° N). Three species of tunas, yellowfin, skipjack and bigeye tunas are caught in similar proportions in this fishery. This method has produced a dramatic increase in the baitboat catch per unit of effort (CPUE). The paper describes this new fishing method where the boat is permanently running associated with a very large tuna school, night and day, during several months. A team of two baitboats exploits each school, operating one after the other. The biological and environmental characteristics of this associated-school fishing are analyzed from detailed log book data. The daily positions of each school and the catches by species and sizes are analyzed for each boat and school. The dynamics of the association between the tunas and the baitboat and the dynamics of this exploitation (i.e. input and output of tunas in each school) are discussed in relation to the peculiarities of the local environment (mainly sea surface temperature and bathymetry). The reasons for the increased CPUE in this associated-school fishing are analyzed. Further researches should be conducted in order to better understand how fish behaviour relates to this fishing mode and in order to estimate the potential local yield of the fishery, if increased fishing effort is exerted in the future.

Research Article
© IFREMER-Gauthier-Villars, 1994

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