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Statistics of the French purse seine fishing fleet targeting tropical tunas in the Atlantic Ocean (1991-2014)

  • Floch, Laurent
  • Dewals, Patrice
  • Irié, Dominique
  • Cauquil, Pascal
  • Gaertner, Daniel
  • Chavance, Pierre
  • Maufroy, Alexandra
  • Chassot, Emmanuel
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2016
Horizon / Pleins textes
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The French purse seine fleet was composed in 2014 of 9 purse seiners of storage capacity >700 t and >60 m length overall, and 1 support vessel of 40 m length overall. The fleet capacity and overall nominal effort have remained stable in the recent years with a total annual number of about 2,000 fishing sets made in 2014, among which 55% on free-swimming schools and 45% on schools associated with fish aggregating devices (FADs). The total number of buoys used for tracking FADs has remained stable during 2010-2014 at around 660 (SD = 100), despite some important variations between vessels and seasons. In 2014, the total landings of the French fleet reached more than 40,000 t and were composed of about 50% yellowfin, 40% skipjack, and less than 10% bigeye. Skipjack predominated in the catch on FAD-associated schools (i.e. 70% in 2014) while large yellowfin predominated in the free-swimming schools catch (i.e. 80% in 2014). Catch rates on FADs have steadily increased to exceed 10 t per searching day in 2014. This increase results from the combination of an increased number of sets on FADs and an increased expected catch per successful set related to increased mean weights of skipjack and yellowfin in the catch.

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