An update for Canadian tuna fisheries in the north and south Pacific

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					      #t\9 c°nmfy                                     SCTB13 Working Paper

                                                      NFR-3



          SCTB 13
     Noumea, New Caledonia
        5-12 July 2000   ,




An update for Canadian tuna fisheries in the north and south Pacific
                         through 1999



                             A.W. Argue and W. Shaw




                              Fisheries and Oceans
                                     Canada

                                   July 2000
                                                                       NFR -        CANADA




An Update for Canadian Tuna Fisheries in the North and
         South Pacific Ocean Through 19991




                                    A.W. Argue

                       Fisheries and Oceans Canada
                       Fisheries Management Branch
                     Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6B 5G3


                                          and


                                   William Shaw

                       Fisheries and Oceans Canada
                       Fisheries Management Branch
                      Nanaimo, B.C., Canada V9T 1K3



                                     July 2000




  Canadian National Fisliery Report for tlie 13th meeting of tlie Standing Committee on Tuna and
  Billfish (SCTB13) in Noumea, New Caledonia, July 5-12, 2000. Document not to be cited witliout
  permission of tlie authors.
INTRODUCTION

        Canadians began fishing albacore tuna {Thunnus alalunga) in the north Pacific with troll
vessels using feathered jigs in the mid 1930s. Canadian trailers began fishing albacore in the
south Pacific in the mid 1980s. In the last two decades, larger vessels in the Canadian troll fleet
have increasingly expanded their albacore fishing from the North American coast westward past
the dateline and southward to the southern tropical convergence zone. Recently, as fishing
opportunities and prices for salmon declined, many smaller Canadian vessels have been exercising
their tuna fishing privilege in the North American coastal fishery, and a few larger Canadian
vessels have tried surface longlining for tuna and billfish on the high seas.

        These fishing interests formed the basis for Canada's entry into the multilateral
negotiations for a new, Pacific Ocean wide Convention for Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (HMS).
Canada now is a full participant at the Multilateral High-Level Conference on the Conservation
and Management of HMS in the Central and Western Pacific (MHLC). Representatives from the
Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Canada Department of Foreign
Affairs and International Trade attended the sixth MHLC session in Honolulu, Hawaii in April
2000.

        Canada is committed to providing detailed catch and effort statistics, logbook data and
fishing vessel information, as will be required under the new HMS Convention being negotiated at
the MHLC. This report provides a brief description of Canada's fisheries in the north and south
Pacific over the last five years, recent Canadian fishery statistics and logbook information, and
new developments for the Canadian HMS fishery. A similar report was prepared for SCTB12
(Argue etal. 1999).

DESCRIPTION OF THE CANADIAN HMS FISHERY

Albacore Jig Fishery

         The Canadian jig fishery is comprised of two fleets. The coastal fleet operates within and
near to the Canadian and United States fishing zones in accordance with zone and port access
privileges under the Canada/U.S. Albacore Tuna Treaty. Vessels in this fleet, mostly 35 to 60 feet
in length, concentrate their fishing effort primarily from the southern Oregon coast to the northern
tip of Vancouver Island. Ocean conditions, the availability of albacore, and abundance and
distribution of salmon all influence the size and distribution of the Canadian tuna fleet in any
particular year. Effort in the coastal fishery normally peaks in September, after the salmon season
for trailers has wound down. In recent years, with very limited salmon opportunities in Canada,
the coastal fleet has been starting on tuna at an earlier date, and has extended into California
waters. Most of the catch from the coastal fleet is sold into the canned tuna market.

        The Canadian high seas fleet is comprised of larger jig vessels (most greater than 60 feet)
with crews typically of two to four fishermen that remain at sea for trips of several months. These
vessels, most of which are equipped with large freezers, operate primarily from west of the
dateline to the Canadian zone in the north Pacific. Since the 1980s a smaller fleet has fished south
Pacific albacore between the New Zealand zone and 140°W. Offshore vessels often tranship their
catch to carrier vessels at sea in order to continue fishing operations on migrating schools of tuna.


                                                1
Offshore fishing in the north Pacific on the Wake Island grounds usually starts in late May or June
and, weather and tuna abundance permitting, lasts through late fall as the vessels follow albacore
towards the North American coast. Canadian vessels fish in the southern albacore fishery during
the austral summer. Offshore vessel catches are also sold into the canned market, although the
majority is bled and blast frozen then sold into the fresh-frozen sashimi market.

       In the last five years in excess of 400 Canadian vessels have fished at least once for
albacore. During this period the Canadian fleet ranged from approximately 150 to 250 vessels
each year, with some 40 to 60 vessels fishing on the high seas in the north Pacific, and between 2
and 5 vessels fishing in the south Pacific.

        Longstanding fisheries on the west coast of Canada, such as the Pacific salmon and herring
fisheries, have become markedly less lucrative in the last decade. As a result an increasing
number of Canadian fishermen have entered the albacore fishery. Due to this build-up in fishing
capacity, DFO is considering announcement of a control date for the Canadian albacore fishery. A
control date is adopted in order to reduce speculative entry into a fishery by informing fishermen
that landings after the control date may not be considered in the allocation of future access rights.

Other HMS Fisheries

        New Canadian interests are exploring possibilities to fish other highly migratory species by
longlining or seining. It is expected that the number of vessels wishing to diversify their fishing
opportunities to include high seas species will continue to grow at a modest rate in the coming
years. To date four vessels have been licensed to longline HMS in the 2000 season.

ANNUAL FISHERY STATISTICS

        Prior to departing for the fishing grounds, Canadian tuna fishermen are requested to notify
DFO of their intent to fish albacore tuna, and under the Canada/U.S. Tuna Treaty must indicate to
DFO at least 48 hours in advance whether they intend to fish in the U.S. zone (Shaw 1997). The
reporting information includes vessel name, homeport, CFV #, registration #, radio call sign, and
Captain/operator name. All Canadian vessels must carry logbooks while fishing for highly
migratory species in any waters. Logbook information consists of daily catch and bycatch
(numbers offish), effort (numbers of jigs, hours fished), position (Lat/Long), average fish weight,
and SST. Logbooks and sales slips must be returned to DFO for entry into DFO's relational
database (Argue et al. 1999). Currently DFO is working in collaboration with the members of the
newly formed British Columbia Tuna Fisherman's Association to collect basic biological data
(length, weight, sex) from albacore during the 2000 fishing season.

Northern Albacore

       In March 1999, DFO embarked on a program to reconcile past estimates of total Canadian
catches of albacore from logbook, sales slip, phone-in and transhipment data. 1998 and 1999 data
have been reconciled with the exception of inclusion of data from U.S. logbooks that were held by
some Canadian vessels. This final reconciliation should not change 1998 and 1999 catches
appreciably. Reconciliation of catches for 1994 to 1997 is underway so there are no changes to



                                                2
these data that were first reported in SCTB 12 (Argue et al. 1999). Based on 1998-99 catch
reconciliation, we would expect earlier catches to increase by at least 50%.

       Below, for FAO Statistical Areas (Chart 1), are the revised preliminary estimates of the
1998 and 1999 northern albacore catch by Canadian jig boats based on data received by DFO as of
June 15, 2000.

    FAO STATISTICAL AREA                      ESTIMATED              ESTIMATED
                                           TOTAL 1998 CATCH       TOTAL 1999 CATCH
                                                         (nit)           (mf)
  Northeast Pacific, Area 67                             4,062              2,349
  Northwest Pacific, Area 61                              120                 52
  Eastern Central Pacific, Area 772                       143                302
              TOTALS                                     4,325              2,703

        The distribution of total catch between FAO Statistical Areas was based on the distribution
of reported catch from logbooks. Logbooks have been received from 51% of an estimated fleet of
172 vessels that were fishing in 1998, and 63% of an estimated fleet of 219 vessels that were
fishing in 1999.

        The total estimated Canadian catch for 1999 was 2,703 mt, somewhat lower than in 1998
due to poorer availability of albacore, particularly offshore. Most of this catch was taken in FAO
Area 67, but closer to the North American coast than in 1998.

        Charts 2, 3 ands 4 show the distribution, by one degree square, of 1999 northern albacore
catch (numbers offish), fishing effort (days fishing) and CPUE (numbers offish per day fishing),
respectively, based on logbooks from Canadian vessels. Charts 5 to 7 show comparable 1998 data
(Shaw and Argue 1999). Productive fishing in 1999 was primarily near the North American coast,
compared to high offshore catches in 1998. The SST anomalies for 1998 in Chart 8 show warmer
waters (+1 C above normal) in the offshore albacore fishing area. In contrast to 1999 (Chart 9)
where the warmer waters (+0.5 C above normal) were found along the North American coast
inside the 200 nm EEZs. At the same time in 1999 there was a large pool of colder water (-1 to -2
C below normal) situated in the offshore albacore fishing area. The distribution of sea surface
temperatures appears consistent with catch distributions in the two years. As in 1998, the
Canadian fleet off the North American coast caught fish from southern California to the Queen
Charlotte Islands. Catches in the Canadian zone were higher in 1999 than in 1998.

         Based on sales slip records starting in 1945 (Ware and Yamanaka 1991), historical
Canadian catches of northern albacore have ranged from less than 100 mt to 3,921 mt (1972). In
the last four years north Pacific catches, based on analysis of sales slip data (Shaw 1999), were:




       Excludes catch data from below the equator.

                                                     3
                      1994    1,003 mt
                      1995    1,698 mt
                      1996      602 mt
                      1997    1,045 mt

South Pacific

        In recent years, between two and five Canadian flag vessels have fished southern albacore
stocks below the equator during the November to March seasons. These vessels fished primarily
in an area that extends from 130°W to 165°W and 35°S to 40°S. They have landed their catch at
ports in American Samoa, Fiji, French Polynesia (Papeete) and Canada. Based on analyses of
transhipment records and discussions with skippers, Canadian landings in this fishery from its
inception in 1987/88 to 1996/97 are estimated to have ranged from 134 to 335 mt per season.

        Based on log book, sales slip and transhipment data, and fisherman interviews, the
preliminary 1997/98 and 1998/99 catch of southern albacore by Canadian registered vessels was
167 and 117 mt, respectively. Charts 10 to 12 show the distribution of the 1999 southern albacore
catch, effort and CPUE, respectively.

REFERENCES

Argue, A.W., W. Shaw and N. Williscroft. 1999 MS. An update for Canadian albacore fisheries in
       the north and south Pacific Ocean. Report prepared for the 12th meeting of the Standing
       Committee on Tuna and Billfish in Tahiti, French Polynesia, June 16-23, 1999.

Shaw, W. 1997 MS. The Canadian albacore fishery off the west coast of British Columbia, 1996-
      97. 15 pp. Document submitted by DFO to the Fifteenth Meeting of the North Pacific
      Albacore Workshop, Nanaimo, B.C., December 1997.

Shaw, W. 1999 MS. An update of the Canadian north Pacific albacore fishery. 6 pp. Document
      submitted by DFO to the Second Meeting of the Interim Scientific Committee for Tuna
      and Tuna-Like Species in the North Pacific Ocean, Honolulu, Hawaii, January 1999.

Shaw, W. and A. W. Argue. 1999 MS. The Canadian albacore fisheries in the north Pacific
      Ocean, 1995-1998. 11 pp. Document submitted by DFO to the Sixteenth Meeting of the
      North Pacific Albacore Workshop, Kesen-numa, Japan, November 1999.

Ware, D.M. and K.L. Yamanaka. 1991 MS. Catch statistics for the Canadian albacore tuna
      fishery: 1945-1990. 4 pp. Document submitted by DFO to the Annual Meeting of the
      International North Pacific Fisheries Commission, Tokyo, Japan, November 1991.




                                              4
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Chart 1. Food and Agricultural Organization fishing areas for statistical purposes.




                                                                                                    6
 130*                                     160*
—I—                                        _l_




    1999 Catch (No Fish)
        .    < 1,001
        •    1,001 - 5,000
        •    5,000 - 10,000                      Northeast Pacific
        •     10,001-15,000                           (67)
       •     > 15,000
    / S y ' F A O Statistical A r e a s
    / \ / 2 0 0 n m Zones



Northwest
 Pacific
 (61)




                       E a s t e i n Central Pacific
                                    (77)                             Preliminary 1999 Northern Albacore Tuna
                                                                                     Log Book Catch
                                                                      FAO Statistical Areas and 200nm Zones Indicated


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                                                         Chart 2.




                                                           7
180"     175'     170*                                150
                 —I—




   1999 Effort (Days Fished)
     •    <51
     •   51 - 100                        Northeast Pacific
     •    101-150                             (67)
     •   > 150
  / N ^ F A O Statistical Areas
  /\yi00nm      Zones




Northwest
 Pacific
  (61)




                   Eastern Central Pacific
                          (77)                                      Preliminary 1999 Northern Albacore Tuna
                                                                                    L o g B o o k Effort
                                                                     FAO Statistical Areas and 200nm Zones Indicated


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                                                 Chart 3.
                                         10U"




  1999 CPUE (Catch/Effort)
      . <51
      . 51 - 100                                  Northeast Pacific
      • 101-150                                       (67)
      • >150
  / \ / F A O Statistical Areas
  / \ / 2 0 0 n m Zones


                                                           • •                • • •
Northwest                                                  < • •
 Pacific                                                   • ••
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  • ••



                          Eastern Central Pacific
                                 (77)                                                                                 Preliminary 1999 Northern Albacore Tuna
                                                                                                                                      Log Book CPUE
                                                                                                                       FAO Statistical Areas and 200nm Zones Indicated
                                                                                                                                ff#>«rlM ana Oo*«ic   PAatod U Oab«n*       A
                                                                                                                          l+l   c«Hd<                 c*Mh              1:36000000



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                                                       Chart 4.




                                                           9
 180*            170'    1«3*    1<50*                130"
_ 1 _              I       I                            I    J1L
    1998 Catch (No. Fish)
        . < 1,001
        • 1,001 - 5,000
        • 5,001 10,000                   Northeast Pacific
        • 10,001 -15,000                     (67)
       •     > 15,000
    /"Vy/FAO Statistical Areas
    / \ / 2 0 0 n m Zones



Northwest
 Pacific
 (61)




                  Eastern Central Pacific
                         (77)                                      Preliminary 1998 Northern Albacore Tuna
                                                                                   Log Book Catch
                                                                    FAO Statistical Areas and 200nm Zones Indicated

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                                                Chart 5.




                                                 10
           1»*                   163*                               L«*     uo*
                                                    1
                                                        •»    '


   1998 Effort (Days Fished)
       -     <5V
       « 51 - 100                               Northeast Pacific
       •      101-150                                (67)
      •      >150
   / S ^ / F A O Statistical A r e a s
   / A v / 2 0 0 n m Zones




Northwest
 Pacific
  (61)




                        Eastern Central Pacific
                               (77)                                       Preliminary 1998 Northern Albacore Tuna
                                                                                          L o g Book Effort
                                                                           FAO Statistical Areas and 200nmZones Indicated

                                                                                                                             A
                                                                          • •I    rirfMriM vie O O M K   M M at Oafen*
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 180"                            US'     160*                                         13i"                                             115*
                      170*                                                                                        125*




                                                    Chart 6.




                                                         li
         173'             170"      1W          l«j>*          U?'             "P"         ••?'




                                            ^           ^
  1998 CPUE (Catch/Effort)
     . < 51
     « 51 - 100                                         Northeast Pacific
     • 101-150                                              (67)
     • > 150
  / ^ / F A O Statistical Areas
  / A v / 2 0 0 n m Zones

                                                                                     «                    •
                                                                          ••            •••••
                                                                         • • • • • • • ••« < ••
Northwest
                                                                      •••###•••••••••
 Pacific                                                               ••••••••••••••
  (61)                                                                .• • • • • • « • • •
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                                                        —»«                          >• . .                —
                                     ••••••••                                        • •
    • ••        i •   •   «

   ••••          • • • •




                              Eastern Central Pacific
                                     (11)                                                         Preliminary 1998 Northern Albacore Tuna
                                                                                                               Log Book CPUE
                                                                                                   FAO Statistical Areas and 200nm Zones indicated

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                                                                     Chart 7.




                                                                          12
60°M




50°N




40*M




30
     i¥                                                               12<m
          Chart 8. Sea surface temperature anomaly for August 1998.




                                    13
60°W




50°N




40"M




30
     il                                        14<W                   12<W

          Chart 9. Sea surface temperature anomaly for August 1999.




                                    14
                                170-         165"         160*       155*             150*       145*                                                   135-
                                                           1


                                                      Eastern Central Pacific
                                                               (77)
 WaUb                      Western Samoa
                                                                                                                           1999 Catch (No Fish)
 Sc F i d u m              41
                                #   Amarkaii Sanwa                                       F i w \ PofcmMk
                                                                                                                               . < 1,001
                                                                                                                               • 1.001 - 5,000
                                                                                                                           / \ / F A O Statistical Areas
  " F«I


Western
Central            Ton^a
Pacific
  (71)



                                                    Southwest Pacific
                                                          (81)




                                                                 «   •    >   •   i              Preliminary 1999 Southern Albacore Tuna
                                                                                                              Log Book Catch
                                                                                                          FAO Statistical Areas Indicated H

                                                                                                  • •I     n*to4«c afd Oa*an«   Mofeot c4 OC4WM
                                                                                                                                                       A
                Chatham If land                                                                                                                     12I00CCIM



                                                                                                                                            —P"        —P"
                                                          160*       155*             150*                                                   130*       US*




                                                                 Chart 10.




                                                                     15
                                                                           ISO-           14S-                    135-         130'
                                                                !££•                                                                     J21
                                                 Eastern Central Pacific
                                                          (77)
                                                                                                               1999 Effort (Days Fished)
  WaJH.                Waftern Samoa
  & Fvtum
                                                                                                                   .   <51
                       **   r   American Samoa                                    French Potymvia
                                                                                                               / \ / F A O Statistical Areas

  ' F«i


Western
Central        Tonga

 Pacific
  (71)


                                                 Southwest Pacific
                                                       (81)




                                                                                          Prelim mary 1999 Southern Albacore Tuna
                                                                                                       Log Book Effort
                                                                                                     FAO Statistical Areas Indicated     H




            Chatham I i h n d
                                                                                           1*1      Cm***          CttMth                A
                                                                                                                                       1W1DIU

                                        — T
                                         165*         1601      155'       ISO*                        140*




                                                             Chart 11.




                                                               16
                                                                                                              140 -       13S"        130-
                                                                                                                            •




                                                   Eastern Central Pacific
                                                            (77)
                                                                                                                      1999 CPUE (Catch / Effort)
  WalUi                 W M tarn. Samoa
  3t F u i u m          ^* ,     American Samoa,
                                                                                                                          • <51
                                                                                    French P o l y ™ . ! .
                                                                                                                          . 51 - 100
                                                                                                                      / \ / F A 0 Statistical Areas
  ' Ffll
                                 . Nu
Western
Central
 Pacific
  (71)


                                                    Southwest Pacific
                                                          (81)




                                                            i   «   •    • • •
                                                                                                Preliminary 1999 Southern Albacore Tuna
                                                                                                             Log Book CPUE
                                                                                                             FAO Statistical Areas Indicated      „

                                                                                                 1*1                                              A
                 Cktthun ltbnl                                                                                                                 l:tMI0tM



                                          —r-          I             I             I           —r            —i—                                  —P-
                                                     160-           US-          ISO*          us-            MO*                                  125-
                                           163*




                                                                Chart 12.




                                                                    17

				
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