World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Pacific Fishing Zones—Lifeline For Overfished Tuna?


MEDIA RELEASE

For immediate release

Pacific Fishing Zones—Lifeline For Overfished Tuna?
Marine zoning in the Pacific Ocean, in combination with other measures, could significantly improve dwindling numbers of heavily overfished bigeye tuna and improve local economies, a fish modelling study has found.

Scientists working at the University of Hawaii, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS) have found that a network of marine zones in the Pacific Ocean could be a more effective conservation measure than simply closing relatively small areas to some types of fishing.

These marine zones, where different fishing activities are allowed in different areas, may have significant and widespread benefits for bigeye tuna numbers.

Dr John Hampton, of the Oceanic Fisheries Programme of the SPC, is one of four scientists leading the study.

After testing the effectiveness of a range of conservation measures with an ecosystem and fish population model, Dr Hampton says the team found that the most efficient measures were to restrict:

• longline fishing in tuna-spawning areas
• the use of fish-aggregating devices (e.g. moored or drifting buoys which attract fish) in areas where boats use purse-seine nets.

“We found that simply closing areas off to fishing doesn’t work, because the boats just move their operations to neighbouring zones and chase fish even harder. It’s going to need a combination of approaches,” he says.

“The model will help people evaluate different ways of managing tropical tuna fisheries. Our predictions can help countries estimate how effective conservation measures might be, relative to any economic effects, and tailor measures to suit their goals. The advantage of this approach is that effects can be estimated locally, as well as for the stock as a whole.”

Half the current bigeye tuna catch is by the longline method, which targets high-value tuna sold as fresh fish. This commands a market premium and sells for over $10 per kilogram.

The other half is caught in purse-seine nets as incidental catch when aiming to catch skipjack tuna. These juvenile bigeye tuna are sold to the canning industry for $1.70 per kilogram.

Dr Hampton says the study calls for a complete economic valuation of the Western Central Pacific Ocean tuna fishery.

He says the most important thing is that fish are protected throughout their lifetime.

Rebuilding the bigeye-tuna stock will take at least 15 years, and will be affected by any climate changes the ecosystems experience.

The Spatial Ecosystem and Population Dynamics Model (SEAPODYM) the researchers used was developed with support from a series of European Union–funded projects implemented by the Oceanic Fisheries Programme of the SPC, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration–funded Pelagic Fisheries Research Program at the University of Hawaii and CLS.

The study ‘Shifting from marine reserves to maritime zoning for conservation of Pacific bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus)’ by John Sibert, Inna Senina, Patrick Lehodey, and John Hampton was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 30 2012.

For more information:
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community: http://www.spc.int/en/
The Spatial Ecosystem and Population Dynamics Model (SEAPODYM) model: http://www.spc.int/OceanFish/en/ofpsection/ema/ecosystem-a-multispecies-modelling/seapodym/148-seapodym
Collecte Localisation Satellites, a subsidiary of CNES (French Space Agency) and IFREMER (French Research Institute for exploration of the sea): www.cls.fr/welcome_en.html

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:

Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>

ALSO:

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news