Influence of El Niño-Southern Oscillation on Bigeye and Yellowfin Tuna Longline Catch per Unit Effort in the Equatorial Pacific
In this study, we investigate the statistical relationships between past ENSO conditions and equatorial fisheries using the Multivariate ENSO Index, sea surface temperature (SST), and catch and effort records from the longline fisheries in the region.
Bigeye tuna (BET) and yellowfin tuna (YFT) are economically important target species of pelagic fisheries worldwide, especially for tropical Pacific nations whose economies and food sources are heavily affected by commercial and sustenance tuna fishing. The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has a strong effect on the oceanographic conditions in the Pacific, including BET and YFT habitat and fishing grounds around the equator.
For optimal fisheries management, the effects of environmental variability such as ENSO on the stocks and on the performance of fisheries must be known and predictable. However, besides some model predictions, the effects of ENSO on these two tuna species are not well understood. In this study, I investigate the statistical relationships between past ENSO conditions and equatorial fisheries using the Multivariate ENSO Index, sea surface temperature (SST), and catch and effort records from the longline fisheries in the region.
Results of this study indicate that El Niño events have both delayed and concurrent positive effects on BET and YFT catch per unit effort (CPUE). The delayed positive ENSO effect on CPUE is hypothesized to be the result of enhanced recruitment acting via different mechanisms in the west than in the east. The concurrent positive effects on CPUE could be due to catchability, abundance, and/or vertical distribution of BET and YFT relative to fishing gear and require further investigation. Further exploration of the mechanisms that may underlie the results presented here could lead to predictability of CPUE of these two tuna species.
Domokos. 2023. Influence of El Nino-Southern Oscillation on bigeye and yellowfin tuna longline catch per unit effort in the equatorial Pacific. Fisheries Oceanography, 1?14.https://doi.org/10.1111/fog.12644