Home TUNA FISHERIES Tuna Fisheries of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean
Tuna Fisheries of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean
Monday, 19 July 2010 08:04


Tuna fishing in the Pacific Islands region has a rich history. For centuries, tuna have provided an important source of food for Pacific Island peoples and the traditional fishing techniques and equipment involved are part of their cultural heritage. Today, tuna are also an important source of income and employment for many SPC island members. For some, the tuna resources within their 200 mile exclusive economic zones (EEZs) represent their only significant renewable resource and their best opportunity for economic development.

The fishery in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean is therefore diverse, ranging from small-scale artisanal operations in the coastal waters of Pacific states, to large-scale, industrial purse-seine, pole-and-line and longline operations in both the exclusive economic zones of Pacific states and on the high seas. The main species targeted by these fisheries are skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), bigeye tuna (T. obesus) and albacore tuna (T. alalunga). Artisanal and larger-scale commercial fisheries exploiting the same stocks of these species also occur in the Pacific Ocean waters of adjacent southeast Asian countries, particularly Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.

The statistics presented on these pages refer to the commercial tuna targeted fisheries operating in the Convention Area of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC-CA). We do not currently include information on several significant fisheries, including the troll fishery for albacore in the North Pacific, longline fisheries for swordfish in the North and South Pacific, tuna fisheries of Vietnam and artisanal fisheries throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.  The WCPFC-CA used for the compilation of statistics on tuna fisheries is shown below.


 Figure 1.  The Pacific Ocean, showing the boundaries of the WCPFC-CA used for the compilation of catch estimates.


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