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Approximate estimate of the maximum sustainable yield from catch data without detailed effort information: application to tuna fisheries

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 January 2001

Daniel Gaertner
Affiliation:
Laboratoire halieutique et écosystèmes aquatiques (HEA), IRD, BP 5045, 34032  Montpellier, France
Alain Fonteneau
Affiliation:
IRD, BP 570, Victoria, Seychelles
Francis Laloë
Affiliation:
Laboratoire halieutique et écosystèmes aquatiques (HEA), IRD, BP 5045, 34032  Montpellier, France
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Abstract

Even when fishing effort data are not available in a developing fishery, it is often still possible to develop a simple fishery indicator to obtain information about the status of the stock. Using catch data only, Grainger and Garcia, (FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 359, 1996) showed that the changes over time in the relative rate of catch increase (RRCI) can be used to detect when a stock reaches its over-fishing level, i.e., the year when RRCI falls to zero. The method presupposes that fishing effort increased steadily over the period concerned. We propose a generalization of this method that consists in obtaining a crude estimate of the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) by plotting the trend in catches against the smoothed RRCI. The yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) fishery in the Eastern Atlantic was used to show the bold relationship between MSY estimates obtained from standard equilibrium production models and from this method. Given that it is very difficult to estimate effective fishing effort for skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), we show how this simple fishery indicator can be used to obtain proxies of MSY for skipjack fisheries located in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean and in the Indian Ocean.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© Elsevier, IRD, Inra, Ifremer, Cemagref, CNRS, 2001

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