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The earliest colonisation of oceanic islands by Homo sapiens occurred ~50 000–30 000 years ago in the Western Pacific, yet how this was achieved remains a matter of debate. With a focus on East Asia, the research presented here tests the hypothesis that bamboo rafts were used for these early maritime migrations. The authors review the evidence for Palaeolithic seafaring in East Asia as the context for an experimental archaeology project to build two bamboo watercraft. Sea trials demonstrate the unsuitability of bamboo, at least in East Asia, indicating that more sophisticated and durable vessels would have been required to traverse the Kuroshio Current.
Blue marlin are sexually dimorphic in size-at-age and other biological characteristics. However, few studies have examined the possible impact of sexual dimorphism on the population parameters and the ratios of fishing to total mortality (the exploitation ratios) for this species. We analyzed sex-specific catch-at-length data for blue marlin collected from the Taiwanese tuna longline fishery in the northwest Pacific Ocean, ranging between 100–311 cm in eye to fork length (EFL) for females and 100–236 cm EFL for males, and show that the proportion of females in the catch (the sex ratio) increases with length, with females reaching larger body sizes than males. Minor differences in fishery sex ratios among months were observed. Growth parameters, length structures, and natural mortality rates were estimated to differ between males and females, while fishing mortality rates were found to be similar. Nevertheless, the exploitation ratio for females was higher than that for males. We suggest that growth parameters and natural mortality rates should be sex-specific when assessments for sexually-dimorphic species such as blue marlin are conducted, and that management of blue marlin fisheries could be developed based on size limit regulations for large individuals.
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