Forecast of U.S. Longline Catch of Bigeye Tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean
In the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO), bigeye tuna are harvested by fleets from the U.S. and other nations using pelagic longline gear or purse seines in the open ocean. They are also caught in coastal waters of Pacific islands by vessels deploying small-scale gear, including vessels of the U.S. Catch data used to monitor the harvest of bigeye tuna and assess fishery impacts are collected by fishery agencies of countries who are members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.
On the advice of its Scientific Committee, the Commission has determined that overfishing of the bigeye stock is occurring — the aggregate fishing mortality exceeds the level that would produce Maximum Sustainable Yield. Accordingly, the Commission has enacted conservation measures including annual bigeye tuna catch limits for various fishing fleets. In conformance with these measures, NOAA Fisheries Service established an annual 2011 bigeye tuna catch limit of 3,763 metric tons for the U.S. longline fleet, based primarily in Hawaii; the same limit applied in 2009 and 2010.
To ensure the U.S. does not exceed the limit, PIFSC scientists are carefully monitoring the catch of bigeye tuna by U.S. longline vessels throughout the year. The monitoring is based on catch records reported to PIFSC by longline vessels at the end of each fishing trip. As catch data are compiled during the year, PIFSC scientists will analyze them, along with historical data and other information, and generate forecasts of the U.S longline fleet’s cumulative catch of bigeye tuna in the WCPO and the date when the catch will reach the established catch limit for 2011. As the season unfolds, forecasting activity will intensify, the forecasts will be updated frequently and the most current forecasts will be posted on this web page.
The forecasts of cumulative catch and date when the WCPO catch limit will be reached are used by the NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office to establish regulations ending the fishing season, if necessary.
For current fishery information please see: