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SPC stores and provides catch & harvest data to member countries

SPC holds and curates all the commercial fisheries and on board observer data from fishing vessels active in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. This data is available to SPC’s 21 member countries when they:

  1. Use TUFMAN to access their own databases
  2. Use the online tool DORADO to link with TUFMAN2’s cloud-hosted data
  3. Formally request SPC to send them summaries
  4. Access their own password-protected country web page through http://www.spc.int/OFPMemberCountries/ (The contact person at SPC to obtain the country user name/password is Emmanual Schneiter – [email protected]).

SPC researcher, Steven Hare explains (51 secs).

The Pacific Community’s (SPC) Oceanic Fisheries Programme provides training programmes for SIDS fisheries officers, observers and others to help them collect data, and monitor and report on catch and harvest information. For example, and see more detailed info in this report (section 7.4):

  • E-reporting and E-monitoring.
    The OFMP2 project is currently trialling a Tails app to help electronic recording of data from vessel captains at the port. Hear SPC’s Andrew Hunt explain the app and its benefits (59 secs).

  • Young professional placements at SPC
    SPC support the career development of young professionals from member countries through 12-month work placements within SPC. Lucy Joy from Vanuatu Fisheries joined SPC’s Oceanic Fisheries Programme during 2017. She worked with Andrew Hunt, a researcher for OFMP2. Hear what Lucy has to say about the benefits (3.11mins).

Hear what SPC’s Andrew Hunt has to say about the benefits of having Lucy work in the team (1.17mins)

  • The European Parliament commissioned research on the use of FADs in tuna fisheries, a report was published in 2014, and a summary of the findings is shown below.

How FADs are used in tuna fisheries

“On a global scale, about 60% of the catch of tropical tunas are made by purse seine fishing, and nearly 65% of purse seine catch was made by fishing on floating objects, or FADs.

Across the oceans, FAD purse seine fishing is now [2014] about 50% more productive (in tonnes per set) than free-school fishing for the three tropical tunas in combination, and about twice as effective for skipjack. For yellowfin, however, the relative efficiency of FAD fishing is about the same as for free schools, although the size of yellowfin caught on FADs is much smaller than for free schools.

The global fleet of large-scale purse seiners making use of FADs is not well documented for lack of an adequate monitoring system. However, an estimate of the global fleet in 2013 is somewhat above 700 vessels, most of which are authorised to fish in the Pacific.

FAD management plans, which would permit monitoring FAD deployment and usage patterns, are one way of improving FAD monitoring but in most cases are not yet operational. The estimate of the current level of FAD deployments per year is in the order of 91,000.

93% of the recent tropical tuna catch, mostly skipjack, came from healthy stocks and a high proportion of that catch came from fisheries using FADs. There is no strong evidence that the use of FADs necessarily leads to overfishing of the tunas although harvesting large amounts of certain small tunas (e.g. bigeye or yellowfin) can to the overall declining condition of these stocks, which are also harvested by other fisheries having impact (e.g. longline fishery).

While the tropical tuna stocks impacted by FAD (and other) fishing are mostly in healthy condition, further increases in fishing pressure could well change that picture. Unabated, the continued growth of FAD fishing for tropical tunas at the pace witnessed over the past few years would increase overall fishing pressure on these stocks.”

Understanding tuna and their population levels may change FAD authorisations in the future. Photo credit: Francisco Blaha