New species of deepwater snapper identified from shape of ear bones
Friday, 13 December 2013 15:42

snapperThe ruby snapper has been a prize catch for deepwater snapper fishers throughout the Pacific for many decades. But recently, we discovered that there are actually two species of ruby snapper: the ruby snapper (Etelis carbunculus), and the pygmy ruby snapper (Etelis marshi). We have now developed a reliable technique to distinguish between the two species, based on the shape of their otoliths (ear bones). The results from this research have been published online in the latest issue of Fisheries Research.

Artisanal Tuna Monitoring Workshop #1, 11th-14th November 2013
Tuesday, 29 October 2013 13:34

Increasingly, information on the artisanal tuna fishery is requested and required. The requests come from diverse sources including: the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), which encourages Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) to voluntarily provide data on their artisanal fishery; countries themselves, who require more information on the socio-economic aspects of the fishery; agencies evaluating the effectiveness of FAD programmes and any possible impacts of climate change; as well as fishers themselves, who ask to be better informed about the fishery.

Pacific Island Tuna Scientists in town
Monday, 01 July 2013 00:00

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Fisheries scientists and technicians from most of the SPC island membership converged on Noumea this week to learn more about the way that SPC’s Oceanic Fisheries Programme is assessing their shared tuna stocks, and to suggest ways in which OFP outputs could be directed even more usefully in helping them to answer the questions asked by Pacific Island tuna fishery decision-makers.

SPC and FFA work with Niue on catch limits
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 09:06

While purse seining and skipjack tuna are the critical species for many of the equatorial Pacific Island countries, south Pacific albacore tuna is the key species for many of those south Pacific Island countries like Niue. Niue and other members of subregional groups such as Te Vaka Moana have been concerned at the recent expansion of fishing activity in the region on albacore tuna and are looking at ways to strengthen the management arrangements.

New study on albacore reveals that males grow larger than females
Thursday, 21 June 2012 10:43

plos_oneIn the first stock-wide study of tuna growth, scientists at SPC have discovered that male South Pacific albacore (Thunnus alalunga) grow larger than females, and that albacore in the central Pacific grow larger than those in the west.

Published in the journal PLoS ONE, the research article is authored by scientists from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and Australia’s CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research.

The study was made possible by the dedication and significant efforts from the many fisheries observers, port samplers, fishers and scientists who participated in the collection of over 3000 otoliths (ear bones) and other biological samples from albacore across the South Pacific Ocean, from the east coast of Australia to Pitcairn Islands.

An improved version of the MULTIFAN-CL software
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 14:29

mutifan-clScientists at SPC have been using the MULTIFAN-CL software for over ten years to assess the status of tuna and tuna-related species in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. SPC scientist Nick Davies, along with the chief developer Dave Fournier of Otter Research Limited, has just released an updated version of the software that allows for faster and more efficient analysis of management options. The model also has new features so that it can include 300,000+ tags released in SPC’s highly successful Pacific Tuna Tagging Programme.


Conservation forensics help unlock tuna mysteries
Thursday, 10 October 2013 14:44

otholithTunas are highly mobile fishes that often undertake long-range movements to track food and to reproduce at distant spawning grounds. Information on these movements underpins the effective management of commercially important tuna stocks. In the case of South Pacific albacore (Thunnus alalunga), longstanding questions remain regarding the number and location of spawning areas, the degree of connectivity among larval sources, the migration routes of juveniles and adults and the biophysical factors influencing these processes.

An investigation of E-Reporting and E-Monitoring potential in the WCPFC Tuna Fisheries
Tuesday, 16 July 2013 15:39

The Oceanic Fisheries Programme (OFP) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in collaboration with the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) are conducting a joint study investigating the potential of E-Reporting and E-Monitoring in the WCPFC Tuna Fisheries.

Bycatch Mitigation News
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 13:36

Recent improvements to the web interface of the Bycatch Mitigation Information System (BMIS) have made it easier to use.

Firstly, new user tips on the main search pages for both bycatch mitigation methods and references will help you to find what you're looking for.

Secondly, with one click you can now move from a description of a mitigation method to a list of related references or, alternatively, to a list of related tuna RFMO regulations.

Lastly, you will find an improved layout when you click through to detailed reference information.

If you are interested in bycatch news, please look at our home page or subscribe to our RSS feeds.

The illustration above is of a circle hook.·Circle hooks are employed as a bycatch reduction technique in commercial·fisheries and catch-and-release·recreational fisheries. However, they were probably first·used by Polynesian and Amerindian fishermen in the Pacific·hundreds or even thousands of·years ago.

More on the BMIS...

Partnership with SPC supports sustainable development of Solomon Islands tuna fisheries
Tuesday, 13 March 2012 09:41

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Joint media release by Solomon Islands Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and SPC.

In Honiara last week, Mike Batty, Director of SPC’s Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division, presented the findings of a six-month study on Solomon Islands tuna fisheries to Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) staff and key stakeholders.

Overfishing of western Pacific bigeye tuna continues
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 10:46

policy_briefsOverfishing of bigeye tuna continues in the western and central Pacific tuna fishery, the world’s biggest tuna fishery, according to the 2010 tuna fishery assessment report released this month by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

Though the species is not at risk of extinction, and is never likely to be, the assessment found that bigeye fishing effort needs to be reduced by at least 32% from the average levels for 2006–2009 to ensure long-term sustainability.

Using fisheries and biological data, some going back to the 1950s, SPC has assessed the trends and current stocks of the four tuna species mainly targeted by fishers: skipjack, yellowfin, bigeye and south Pacific albacore.



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