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National Report – Australia







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    Report of the Eleventh Session of the IOTC Working Party on Billfish 2013
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    The Eleventh Session of the Indian Ocean Tu Commission?s (IOTC) Working Party on Billfish (WPB) was held in La Réunion, France, from 18 to 22 September 2013. A total of 24 (23 in 2012) participants attended the Session, including one invited expert, Dr. Humber Andrade, from the Universidade Federal Rural de Permbuco, Brazil. The meeting was opened on 18 September, 2013 by the Chair, Dr Jérôme Bourjea (La Réunion, France), who welcomed participants to La Réunion, France. Catch, Catch-and-effort, Size data The WPB RECOMMENDED that all CPCs assess and improve the status of catch-and-effort data for marlins (by species) and sailfish, noting that improvements to the data for the EU fleets and its provision to the IOTC Secretariat, would be most beneficial to the work of the WPB. (para. 25) Effect of piracy on billfish fisheries The WPB NOTED that, although no specific alysis of the impacts of piracy on fisheries in the Indian Ocean were presented at this meeting, paper IOTC–2013–WPB11–07 Re v_1 indicated that there has been a substantial displacement of catch (Fig. 1) and effort eastward (Fig. 2). Since 2004, annual catches have declined steadily, largely due to the continued decline in the number of active Taiwan,Chi longliners in the Indian Ocean (Fig. 3). In recent years, the proportion of fishing effort of the Japanese longline fleet sharply decreased in the north-western Indian Ocean (off the Somalia coastline), while fishing effort increased in the area south of 25°S, especia lly off western Australia. (para. 40) The WPB NOTED that the relative number of active longline vessels in the IOTC area of competence have declined substantially since 2008 (Fig. 3), and AGREED that this was likely due to the impact of piracy activities in the western Indian Ocean. Since 2011, there has been an increase in the relative number of active longline vessels in the Indian Ocean for Japan (68 in 2011 to 98 in 2012), Chi (10 in 2011 to 32 in 2012) and the Philippines (2 in 2011 to 14 i n 2012) (Fig. 3). (Para. 41) Pakistan gillnet fishery RECALLING IOTC Resolution 12/12 to prohibit the use of large-scale driftnets on the high seas in the IOTC area, paragraph 1, which states: “1. The use of large-scale driftnets on the high seas within the IOTC area of competence shall be prohibited.” “Large-scale driftnets” are defined as gillnets or other nets or a combition of nets that are more than 2.5 kilometers in length whose purpose is to enmesh, entrap, or entangle fish by drifting on the surface of, or in, the water column.”, the WPB RECOMMENDED that the SC note the findings of the study that gillnets in excess of the 2.5 km limit are being used by the gillnet fleets of Pakistan on the high seas, in contravention of Resolution 12/12. (para. 44) Revision of the WPB workplan The WPB RECOMMENDED that the SC consider and endorse the workplan and assessment schedule for the WPB for 2014, and tentatively for future years, as provided at Appendix XII and Appendix XIII, respectivel y. (para 192) Consolidated recommendations of the Eleventh Session of the Working Party on Billfish The WPB RECOMMENDED that the Scientific Committee consider the consolidated set of recommendations arising from WPB11, provided at Appendix XIV, as well as the magement advice provided in the draft resource stock status summary for each of the billfish species under the IOTC mandate: (para 205) o Black marlin (Makaira indica) – Appendix VII o Blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) – Appendix VIII o Strip ed marlin (Tetrapturus audax) – Appendix IX o Indo-Pacific sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) – Appendix X o Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) – Appendix XI ???????????????????A summary of the stock status for billfish species under the IOTC mandate is provided in Table 1.
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    An overview of the bycatch landed by local and foreign tuna longliners in Mauritius for the period 2009 to 2012 2013
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    This paper presents by-catch estimates landed by tiol and foreign longliners fishing inside and outside the EEZ of Mauritius for the period 2009 to 2012. Some 100 licences are issued annually to foreign longliners to fish in the Exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Mauritius. The average annual landing from these vessels during the period under report amounted to 3 102 tonnes of albacore tu which is the targeted species followed by 796 tonnes of yellowfin tu (Thunnus albacares), 360 tonnes of big-ey e tu (Thunnus obesus) and 1106 tons of by-catch comprising billfish, other tu-like species and sharks. A total of 21 196 tonnes of tu and tu-like species was transhipped in Port-Louis by non-licensed fishing vessels targeting albacore (Thunnus alalunga), from 2008 to 2012. The proportion of by-catch landed during this period varied between 28.9% and 39.4%. The total catch landed by non-licensed longliners targeting big-eye tu has increased over the years from 3495 tonnes in 2008 to 8125 tonnes i n 2012. The proportion of by-catch in the total catch seems to be the same (33.1%-47.0%) as compared to the level of by-catch of albacore-targeting fishing vessels (37.9%-39.4 %). The proportion of by-catch landed by longliners targeting swordfish (Xiphias gladius) varied between 37.2% to 49.6%. A comparison of shark landings by tu longliners and swordfish-targeting longliners was carried out: the levels of sharks in the total catch of longliners targeting big-eye tu are higher (7.9%-20.2%) than those targeting albacore (3.6%-8.03%). However, the catch of sharks was very significant in swordfish-targeting vessels varying between 24.3%-39.1% of the total catch in comparison to albacore-targeting fleets and big-eye targeting fleet. Sharks landed by swordfish-targeting vessels consisted mainly of blue shark (Prioce glauca) (74.2-84.2%) followed by moro (Isurus oxyrhinchus) (7.1-20.0%) and mako shark (Isurus paucus) (4.6-9.2%). Moreover, Mauritius has a small number of tiol boats targeting swordfish that operate in its EEZ. These boats also land a considerable amount of non-targeted tu and tu-like species including sharks. The by-catch levels for tiol boats targeting swordfish was higher (50.8%- 52.7% of the total catch) as compared to the FAD fishery whose by-catch varied between 27.9%- 42.9%.
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    National Report – Thailand 2013
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    Neritic tu species in the Andaman Sea Coast, Thailand comprise 7 species (Thunnus tonggol, Euthynnus affinis, Auxis thazard, A. rochie, Katsuwonus pelamis and Sarda orientalis, Scomberomorus spp.). These species were caught from purse seine, king mackerel gill net and trawl, while purse seine was the main fishing gear. The trend of neritic tu catches have been decreasing from 45,083 tons in 1997 to 13,093 tons in 1999. The production was quite stable around 10,711 and increase to 11,861 in 2009. These neritic tu species are more or less have its production trend similarity. Three Thai tu longliners were operated in the Indian Ocean in 2007 and in 2008- 2012 only two Thai tu longliners kept on fishing there. Fishing grounds were mainly in the western coast of Indian Ocean. The fishing operations were recorded 2,276 fishing days. The highest total catch was in 2010 with 607.69 tonnes followed by 2012, 2007, 2011, 2009 and 2008, respectively (494.95,461.64, 370.39, 295.23 and 265.57 tonne s). The highest CPUE was found in 2010 with 13.62 fish/1,000 hooks followed by 2012 and 2007, respectively (10.80 and 10.20 fish/1,000 hooks). The major catch species wer bigeye tu (Thunnus obesus) , yellowfin tu (T. albacores) Albacore tu (T. alalunga),swordfish and shark.

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