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The Oceanic Fisheries Programme

The Oceanic Fisheries Programme (OFP) is part of the Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (FAME) Division of SPC, and is the Pacific Community’s regional centre for tuna fisheries research, fishery monitoring, stock assessment and data management. It was established by the 1980 South Pacific Conference (as the Tuna and Billfish Assessment Programme) to continue and expand the work initiated by its predecessor project, the Skipjack Survey and Assessment Programme.

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E-Monitoring Technical Standards workshop - June 2016
Monday, 23 May 2016 16:13

From 27 to 29 June, SPC will be hosting a workshop in Noumea aimed at drafting the Technical Standards to implement E-Monitoring.

 

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Tuna Data Workshop #10, 25-29th April 2016
Friday, 03 December 2010 08:51

The regional Tuna Data Workshop is conducted on an annual basis for SPC member countries to improve their scientific tuna monitoring and data management capacity, and satisfy their data reporting obligations to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). 2016 marks the 10th annual Tuna Data Workshop and it is held from the 25th to the 29th of April 2016, in Noumea, New Caledonia.

 

(Photo www.fotolia.com)


 

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16th Regional Observer Coordinators Workshop
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 08:34

The workshop was jointly organised and facilitated by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and the Pacific Community (SPC). Representatives from Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Fiji, Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), Nauru, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu met in Honiara, Solomon Islands from 08 – 12 February 2016 for the 16th Annual Regional Observer Coordinators Workshop (ROCW16). Observers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), Parties to Nauru Agreement (PNA) Observer Agency, and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) Secretariat also participated in the meeting.

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Tuna Fisheries Assessment Report No. 15
Tuesday, 01 December 2015 09:39

brouwer_15_western_tuna_2014_overviewTuna fisheries assessment reports provide current information on the tuna fisheries of the western and central Pacific Ocean and the fish stocks (mainly tuna) that are impacted by them. The information provided in this report is summary in nature, but a list of references (mostly accessible via the Internet) is included for those seeking further details.

This report focuses on the main tuna stocks targeted by the fishery - skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), bigeye tuna (T. obesus) and South Pacific albacore tuna (T. alalunga).

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WCPFC Tuna Fishery Yearbook 2014
Monday, 19 October 2015 11:50

The WCPFC Tuna Fishery Yearbook 2014 has been released. It presents annual catch estimates in the WCPFC Statistical Area from 1950 to 2014.

The tables of catch statistics cover the main commercial tuna and billfish species caught in the region: albacore(Thunnus alalunga), bigeye (Thunnus obesus), skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis), yellowfin(Thunnus albacares), black marlin (Makaira indica), blue marlin (Makaira nigricans), striped marlin(Tetrapturus audax) and swordfish (Xiphias gladius). The WCFPC, through their member countries, are now obliged to compile estimates of key shark species, some of which are now covered in the longline fleet tables: blue shark (Prionace glauca), silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis), oceanic whitetip shark(Carcharhinus longimanus) and mako sharks (Isurus spp.).

The PDF edition is now available for download, as well as the associated Excel files. You can also query the Yearbook data through an online interface, available after a quick registration.

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Whales, dolphins and sea birds ID cards for Pacific Islands Regional Fisheries Observers
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 10:50

These identification cards were produced to help with the identification of species of special interest (protected species) encountered by fisheries observers while onboard commercial tuna fishing vessels. Observers collect information about sightings of these species and about interactions between these species and fishing activity and/or fishing gear. Regional requirements are in place for observers to report on interactions of fishing activities with species of special interest and on mitigation methods employed by the vessel to reduce the likelihood of these associations and the possible impacts on the animals, such as injuries.

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Data Collection Strategy meeting - 4-6th April 2016
Thursday, 31 March 2016 08:23

Traditionally the Tuna Fishery Data Collection Committee provided regional standard data forms for use in SPC/FFA member countries.  Increasingly e-reporting and e-monitoring tools are being introduced to capture tuna fishery data. The DCC strategy meeting will look at the future role of the DCC in an increasingly electronic environment.

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Snapper Harvest Strategy
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 13:48

Deepwater snapper are an important resource for many Pacific island countries and territories (PICTs). Fisheries for deepwater snapper supply domestic and export markets, acting as both a food source and economic commodity. However, a lack of formalised harvest policies for deepwater snapper stocks has resulted in ad-hoc management in many countries.

This fact sheet outlines three alternative stock assessment techniques for deepwater snapper fisheries and examples of their incorporation into a formal harvest strategy.

The fact sheet

 
NECTALIS
Thursday, 28 July 2011 08:51

alis_smOFP-EMA team is embarking again on a new adventure: NECTALIS

NECTALIS is a contraction of NECTON which refers to the aquatic organisms able to actively swim in the water column (contrasted with plankton which passively drifts) and ALIS which is the name of the IRD (French Research Institute for Development) research boat based in Noumea, New Caledonia.

NECTALIS is a joint scientific cruise between SPC and IRD which will study the mid-trophic levels of the pelagic ecosystem: zooplankton and micronekton.

 

Nectalis 4 starting now: See the logbook of the cruise

See the logbook of the third cruise in December 2014....

See the logbook of the second cruise in November 2011....

See the logbook of the first cruise in August 2011....

Read more about the NECTALIS Project
 
Identifying FAD-fishing
Tuesday, 25 August 2015 08:54

stevenh2015_08_25-sp_brailleTuna purse-seine catches associated with Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs) are typically more diverse than catches set on “free school” tuna, including both smaller target tuna as well a variety of bycatch species that are often discarded.  In response, an annual FAD-fishing moratorium, of several months’ duration and Pacific-wide, has been implemented since 2009.  Despite the moratorium, there remains concern about adherence to FAD-free fishing requirements.  Additionally, seafood producers and consumers seek certification regarding the source of purse seine captured tuna.

Given this background, we became interested in developing a FAD-association verification test.  We have developed a simple technique, based on observer catch sampling, to determine whether a purse seine set is likely to have been associated with a FAD.  Our methodology, which can be easily implemented “in the field”, has a prediction accuracy rate of up to 86%.  Details of the methodology have been published, in Open Access format, in the journal Fisheries Research.

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