The 2016 total catch in the FSM EEZ estimated from observer log-sheet reports was 202,867mt compared to only 139,491mt in 2015, increasing 63,376mt over that period. Both the longline and purse seine fleet had higher catches; twenty-eight longliners contributed 3,888mt, and one hundred and ninety-nine purse seiners contributed 198,979mt (Figure 1). The fishing effort for the distant-water purse seine fleet was concentrated in the southeastern portion of the FSM EEZ.

Figure 1: Purse seine, longline and Pole & Line catch in FSM EEZ, 2014-2016 (Click graph to view)

For all flagged vessels, the Japan purse seine fleet had the highest catch of tuna with a total of approximately 110,745mt followed by FSMA (33,337mt), Chinese Taipei (25,506mt), Korea (23,029mt), the USA (3,621mt) and China (2,741mt). For all the target stocks, skipjack had the highest catch of approximately 170,062mt followed by yellowfin (24,600mt) and bigeye (3,777mt) (see Table 1).

 

Table 1: Annual catch for purse seine within FSM EEZ by flag and stock, 2014-2016

Flag

Year

SKJ

YFT

BET

Total

China

2014

3,583

427

48

4,058

2015

1,823

663

53

2,539

2016

2,346

336

59

2,741

Chinese Taipei

2014

24,180

3,453

150

27,783

2015

16,617

9,991

249

26,857

2016

21,001

4,154

351

25,506

Japan

2014

50,313

9,013

890

60,216

2015

44,567

13,302

1,587

59,456

2016

93,904

15,095

1,746

110,745

Korea

2014

7,135

813

75

8,023

2015

10,332

8,208

400

18,940

2016

21,130

1,475

424

23,029

USA

2014

5,679

137

27

5,843

2015

7,081

4,414

137

11,632

2016

3,420

158

43

3,621

FSMA

2014

10,987

4,990

2,075

18,052

2015

3,299

9,696

378

13,373

2016

28,801

3,382

1,154

33,337

 

 

 

The longline fleet operating inside the FSM EEZ had licensed vessels originating from Japan, Chinese Taipei, China and FSM National. Japan had the highest annual catch with a total of 1,736mt followed by FSM (1,263mt), China (576mt) and Chinese Taipei (313mt). The highest recorded catch per stock was bigeye (2,033mt) followed by yellowfin (1,233mt) and albacore (622mt) (see Table 2).

Table 2. Annual catch records for longline within FSM EEZ by flag and stock, 2014-2016

Flag

Year

Albacore

Bigeye

Yellowfin

Total

China

2014

37

310

207

554

2015

16

280

179

475

2016

32

277

267

576

Chinese Taipei

2014

10

346

129

485

2015

4

165

117

286

2016

19

160

134

313

Japan

2014

118

3451

1,212

4,781

2015

124

2102

1,168

3,394

2016

492

977

267

1,736

FSM

2014

88

879

529

1,496

2015

75

1547

917

2,539

2016

79

619

565

1,263

 

The total 2016 catch for pole-and-line was 2,283mt, a reduction of 318mt compared to 2015. Skipjack was the most targeted tuna stock with a total catch of approximately 10,919mt followed by bigeye (103mt) and yellowfin (47mt) (see Table 3). Fishing effort distribution for the pole-and-line fishery was concentrated primarily in the northeastern portion of the FSM EEZ. 

Table 3. Annual catch for Japanese pole & line within FSM EEZ, 2014-2016

Japan

Year

SKJ

BET

YFT

Total

2014

1,270

1

4

1,275

2015

2,597

2

2

2,601

2016

2,236

17

30

2,283