Comparisons of monthly and geographical variations in abundance and size composition of Pacific saury between the high-seas and coastal fishing grounds in the northwestern Pacific

Abstract

The monthly and geographical abundances and size compositions of Pacific saury were compared between the high-seas and coastal fishing grounds in the northwestern Pacific during 2000–2005 based on Taiwanese fishery data. The large-sized saury was dominant (44.3–71.4% of the catch) in the beginning of the fishing season, while the medium-sized saury followed and dominated from September to the end of the fishing season (70.1–92.4% of the catch). In the high seas, the total catch per unit effort (CPUE) (about 71.2% of the mean coastal value) and both the large- (about 55.0%) and medium-sized saury CPUEs (about 81.8%) were significantly smaller than those in the coastal waters. The mean proportions of the large- and medium-sized saury in the high-seas catch were about 86.6 and 107.0% of the coastal values, respectively. CPUEs for the total catch and the catch of medium-sized saury varied in a highly consistent way. The total and medium-sized CPUEs were negatively correlated with the sea-water temperature. When the temperature was held the same statistically, the total and medium-sized CPUEs were larger in the shoreward, southward, and shallower waters of the fishing grounds, while the large-sized CPUE was larger in the shoreward waters.

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