Home TUNA FISHERIES Fishing Methods
Fishing Methods in the WCPO
Monday, 19 July 2010 14:01

Tuna have been caught for centuries in the Pacific Islands.  This was usually from canoes and often using handlines, troll gear, or pearl shell lures. Starting in the early 1900s larger scale tuna fishing gear was introduced into the region. Today four types of gear produces the vast majority of the tuna catch in the Pacific Islands region:  purse seine, longline, pole-and-line and trolling.

(fig:Tuna catch in metric tons in the WCPO)

 
Purse Seine
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 14:15

Mainly skipjack and small yellowfin are caught by purse seine gear. Most catch is for canning.

About 75% of the tuna catch in the WCPO region is by purse seine gear, about 1.9 million tonnes in 2009. Most of the purse seine catch is taken within 5 degrees of the equator.

 

 

More on the purse seine fishery...

 
Longline
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 14:15

Most tuna caught by longliners are large size yellowfin, bigeye, and albacore. The prime yellowfin and bigeye often are exported fresh to overseas markets. Most of the albacore is for canning.

About 10% of the tuna catch in the WCPO region is by longline gear, about 240,000 tonnes in 2009. There are two major types of longliners: (1) relatively large vessels with mechanical freezing equipment (often based outside the Pacific Islands), and (2) smaller vessels that mostly use ice to preserve fish and are typically based at a port in the PacificIslands.

 

More on the longline fishery...

 
Pole and Line
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 14:16

Mainly skipjack and small yellowfin are caught by pole-and-line gear. Most catch is for canning or producing a dried product.

About 7% of the tuna catch in the WCPO region is by pole-and-line gear, about 147,000 tonnes in 2009.  In the 1980s several PacificIsland countries had fleets of these vessels, but most no longer operate due to competition with the more productive purse seine gear.

 

More on the pole-and-line fishery...

 
Troll
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 14:16

Large-scale trolling targets albacore for canning.

Gear types other than the three listed above are responsible for about 13% of tuna catch in the WCPO.    Large-scale trolling is an important part of this. It is carried out in the cool water to the south and north of the Pacific Islandsregion. Trolling in the south results in about 5,000 tonnes of albacore annually.

 

 


 
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