SAC Bluefin Tuna Sampling Program
2015 - present
In early 2015, the Sportfishing Association of California (SAC) proposed a collaborative pilot project to sample all tuna species (Thunnus sp.) and skipjack (Katsuwonus) caught on-board Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessels (CPFV) operating out of southern California ports.
Collaborators are SAC, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). Sampling has taken place from the fall of 2015 until present.
The project is intended to provide fishery managers with length frequency data which, combined with CPFV logs, can be used to determine total take by weight of tunas and skipjack in southern California and Baja California, Mexico. The following species are measured: Bigeye, Bluefin, Yellowfin, and Skipjack.
Previous measurements of Bluefin tuna data were taken only dockside from "long-range" CPFVs. While such vessels contribute approximately 30% of the BFT catch, they historically represented fishing areas at extreme distances from port, primarily central Baja California, Mexico. This yielded biased estimates of size structure within the overall CPFV fishery. Until this project, virtually no length data were collected from "short-range" vessels that contribute the remaining 70% of the Bluefin catch. These "short-range" vessels fish off northern Baja California, Mexico and southern California and tend to catch smaller fish in greater numbers. These vessels also fillet their catch at-sea.
Provide fishery managers with length-frequency data collected at-sea for tunas
Sampling design was created and vetted by SAC, NOAA, and CDFW
Species measured: Bluefin, Yellowfin, Bigeye, Skipjack
Generate a new time series of size structure data for future stock assessments
To accurately determine the impact of recreational fishing on resources
Data is collected by CPFV Captains and crew-members, not scientists
1st ever fisheries dataset created and collected by the CPFV fleet used directly in management in California
Objectives & Successes
SAC employee Alayna Siddall training crew members how to accuratly measure tuna and record data
Equipment used by Captains and crew members to measure tunas at-sea (data sheets, large custom calipers, and sampling sequences with instructions)