The Hawaii-based Longline Logbook Summary Report
October-December 2012

This report summarizes data on fish catch and fishing effort by Hawaii-based longline vessels during the fourth quarter of 2012 (Q4-2012). Results are based on the date gear was hauled, as reported by vessel operators to the National Marine Fisheries Service in federal logbooks of daily fishing activity. The report covers longline operations for fishing trips completed in the fourth quarter of 2012 and most, but not all, Q4-2012 data from trips that began late in the fourth quarter and continued into the first quarter of 2013. Therefore, the Q4-2012 summary statistics reported here are preliminary.

During Q4-2012, 123 vessels were active in the Hawaii-based fleet, the same number of vessels as in Q4-2011 (Table 1, Fig. 1). They made 420 longline trips (5 more than in Q4-2011), including 404 using deep-set gear to target tuna (3 more than in Q4-2011) and 16 using shallow-set gear to target swordfish (2 more than in Q4-2011; Fig. 2). During Q4-2012, the fleet deployed a record 12.9 million hooks, about 930,000 more hooks compared to Q4-2011 (Fig. 3). They fished mainly in main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) (42% of the total hooks set) followed by the high seas outside the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) (40%), the EEZ of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) EEZ (16%), and the EEZ of the U.S. Pacific Remote Island Areas (PRIA, consisting of U.S. possessions Wake Island, Jarvis Island, Howland Island, Baker Island, Kingman Reef, Palmyra Atoll, and Johnston Atoll) (2%).

In Q4-2012, the Hawaii longline fleet caught 51,685 bigeye tuna, 20% more than in Q4-2011 (Fig. 4); 41% were caught in waters of the MHI EEZ and outside the U.S. EEZ (40%). The bigeye tuna catch-per-unit-of-effort (CPUE) on deep-set trips was 4.1 fish per 1000 hooks, up 0.4 from Q4-2011 (Fig. 5). The albacore catch and CPUE on deep-set trips in Q4-2012 were 4,417 fish and 0.33 fish per 1000 hooks, respectively (Figs. 6-7). The yellowfin tuna catch and CPUE on deep-set trips in Q4-2012 were 8,235 fish and 0.65 fish per 1000 hooks, respectively (Figs. 8-9).

The Q4-2012 swordfish catch was 2,623 fish, almost the same as the swordfish catch in Q4-2011 (Fig. 10). In Q4-2012, swordfish CPUE on shallow-set trips was 9.7 fish per 1000 hooks, 0.5 lower than in Q4-2011 (Fig. 11).

The striped marlin catch in Q4-2012 was 2,519 fish, down 49% from Q4-2011, and the CPUE on deep-set trips was 0.20 fish per 1000 hooks (Figs. 12-13). The blue marlin catch and CPUE in Q4-2012 was 807 fish with a CPUE on deep-set trips of 0.06 fish per 1000 hooks (Figs. 14-15).

The fleet caught 22,229 sharks in Q4-2012 of which 336 (1.5%) were kept. Blue shark comprised 91% of the total shark catch (20,179 fish) (Fig. 16). Blue shark CPUE on shallow-set trips in Q4-2012 was 5.3 fish per 1000 hooks, 0.8 below the CPUE in Q4-2011 (Fig. 17).

In Q4-2012, the Hawaii longline catch of other key pelagic species included 12,645 mahimahi (Fig. 18) with a CPUE of 0.96 fish per 1000 hooks on deep-set trips (Fig. 19); 3,553 moonfish (Fig. 20) with a CPUE of 0.26 fish per 1000 hooks on deep-set trips (Fig. 21); 12,789 pomfret (Fig. 22) with a CPUE of 1.0 fish per 1000 hooks on deep-set trips (Fig. 23); and 2,013 wahoo (Fig. 24) with a CPUE of 0.16 fish per 1000 hooks on deep-set trips (Fig. 25). A high percentage of the catch of these species was kept.

The summary statistics in Table 1 are based on logbook records from all fishing areas combined and all types of longline trips—those involving shallow-set gear and targeting swordfish and those using deep-set gear aimed at catching tuna. Hence, the CPUE figures in Table 1 differ from those reported above, which were calculated using data exclusively from deep-set trips or shallow-set trips, depending on the species of interest.

The longline logbook statistics reported above refer to all fishing areas combined. Q4-2012 summary catch and effort were also compiled by several geographical sub-areas including: the MHI EEZ; the NWHI EEZ; the PRIA EEZ; the combined EEZ of MHI, NWHI and PRIA; and waters outside the U.S. EEZ. These statistics are presented in Tables 2-6. Q4-2012 summary statistics for the entire fishing area are also presented for each distinct trip type: swordfish-targeted trips using shallow-set gear (Table 7) and tuna-targeted trips deploying deep-set gear (Table 8).

This website also provides a PDF version of the report [download report (0.7 MB PDF)], a separate collection of quarterly and yearly charts, and an archive of quarterly and annual summary tables of fish catch and fishing effort from 1991 to the present. The statistics in the online graphs and archived tables are updated periodically as new records are added to the database and corrections are made.