Spatial, Temporal, and Biological Characteristics of a Nearshore Coral Reef Fishery in the Northern Mariana Islands

A detailed description of the CNMI nighttime commercial spear fishery and the importance of establishing long-term monitoring programs for coral reef fisheries.

Fishery landings of coral reef fish from a nearshore commercial spear fishery from 2011 to 2014 were analyzed and summarized. Results showed that the fishery comprised two effort components—shore‐ and boat‐based fishing—with shore‐based fishing dominating fishery effort. These two components yielded differing fishery characteristics, including landings, CPUE, seasonality, fishing locations, and targeted species. Time series of select species’ sizes (family Acanthuridae and subfamily Scarinae) showed relatively consistent trends over the sampling period, with the sizes of most harvested species exceeding the life history milestones of length at maturity and length at sex change. Sizes of harvested species were influenced by fishing effort type. Brief comparisons with prior spear fishery analyses focusing on the Northern Mariana Islands indicated that effectively evaluating the nighttime commercial coral reef spear fishery requires an understanding of fishery dynamics and implementation of a long‐term monitoring program.

_____

Trianni MS, Gourley JE, Ramon MS. Spatial, temporal, and biological characteristics of a nearshore coral reef fishery in the Northern Mariana Islands. (Published in Marine and Coastal Fisheries). 

Last updated by Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center on 06/01/2018