A Review Of Fishery Data Available For Small Purse-Seine Vessels, With Emphasis On FADs
This document presents an updated review of the catch and effort data available for small (≤ 363 t carrying capacity) purse-seine vessels. Because trips by small vessels are rarely sampled by observer programs, the vessel’s logbook and cannery unloading records continue to be the principal sources of data. However, they do not provide information on tuna discards, and, unlike data collected by onboard observers, which are available in near real-time, cannot be obtained until the trip finishes and the vessel unloads. These deficiencies could be problematic in the implementation of Resolution C-17-01, which requires near realtime monitoring of tuna catches, by species. Moreover, information on catches of non-target species is not always recorded in logbooks, which hampers efforts to conduct even data-limited assessments for such species. A formal, full-year observer sampling program would be needed to estimate catches of nontarget species, and to obtain a better understanding of the strategies and dynamics of small vessel operations. Electronic Monitoring Systems might be useful for obtaining some of the data that observers collect on large vessels, and for monitoring some aspects of compliance by small vessels, but experiments would be necessary to evaluate their efficacy.