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Total Catches
Monday, 19 July 2010 08:10

Annual catches of the four main tuna species (skipjack, yellowfin, bigeye and albacore tunas) in the WCPFC-CA have increased continuously since the beginning of significant commercial exploitation in the early 1950s (Figure 2). In 2009, the highest ever catch of 2.46 million tonnes was recorded. The expansion in the total catch over the past 30 years has been due primarily to the development of purse seine fishing in the region. As a result, catches of skipjack, the main target of the purse seine fishery, and yellowfin, a secondary target species, have been the main source of catch increases. The value of the landed catch has also grown, and has been USD 4-5 billion in recent years.




Figure 2.  Total catch of the main tuna species in the WCPFC-CA by gear type (top) and by species (bottom).


 Figure 3.  Total catch by gear type (top) and by species (bottom) for 2007-2009.
The catch is highly concentrated in the equatorial zone, due to the concentration of the purse seine fishery, and skipjack catches, in this area (Figure 3). This also results in a concentration of catch in the equatorial  EEZs of Federated States of Micronesia, Indonesia, Kiribati, Philippines, PNG and Solomon Islands, and in international waters (Figure 4).
Figure 4.  Average annual catch of tunas in 2007-2009, by EEZ.


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