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Fine-scale catch data reveal clusters of large predators in the pelagic realm
Capello, M.; Bach, P.; Romanov, E. (2013). Fine-scale catch data reveal clusters of large predators in the pelagic realm. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 70(12): 1785-1791.
In: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences = Journal canadien des sciences halieutiques et aquatiques. National Research Council Canada: Ottawa. ISSN 0706-652X; e-ISSN 1205-7533, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Capello, M., more
  • Bach, P.
  • Romanov, E.

    The management and conservation of large pelagic fish commonly rely on fisheries data and thus crucially depend on our understanding of the fish response to the fishing gear. Stock assessment of both tropical and temperate tuna strongly leans on the catch statistics derived from pelagic longline ?sheries. However, the role of the spatial distribution of catches of tuna and bycatch species over the gear, that can affect the estimated tuna abundance, is still neglected. In this study, we analyzed data obtained from 147 instrumented pelagic longline sets equipped with hook timers and temperature depth recorders to characterize the distribution of hooking contacts and success at a fine temporal and spatial scale. Scientific surveys were carried out in the Central-South Pacific Ocean (French Polynesia), targeting tropical (Thunnus albacares, T. obesus) and temperate (T. alalunga) tuna. Data analysis based on spatial point processes and stochastic modeling demonstrate the presence of spatio-temporal clusters for both hooking contacts and hooking success. The comparative analysis of the observed spatio-temporal patterns for different oceanographic zones revealed the persistent structure of the clusters, suggesting that they are neither related to local environmental conditions nor to the spatial distribution of preys.

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