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Role of environmental conditions in structuring the stock trajectory of Thunnus albacares, Th. alalunga and Th. obesus in the South Pacific region

Singh, Ashneel A. (2023) Role of environmental conditions in structuring the stock trajectory of Thunnus albacares, Th. alalunga and Th. obesus in the South Pacific region. Biosystems Diversity, 31 (2). pp. 238-245. ISSN 2519-8513

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Abstract

The lifestyle and culture of South Pacific Island countries have been long intertwined with oceanic resources. These countries are heavily dependent on tuna resources for their economies and socioeconomic livelihoods. Despite their importance, the mechanisms behind tuna stock trajectory patterns need to be better understood. With changing climatic and environmental conditions, it has become vital to understand the impact of these changes on tuna resources and if possible include them in long-term tuna harvest and management plans. A significant portion of the stock dynamics of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), albacore tuna (Th. alalunga) and bigeye tuna (Th. obesus) in the South Pacific Region may possibly be explained only by the environmental factors of sea surface temperature (SST) and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation AMO. The relationship of monthly SST and AMO was investigated with time series stock patterns of Th. albacares, Th. alalunga and Th. obesus in the Eastern and Western Pacific Ocean for the years 1972 to 2019. Monthly variables that exhibited significant correlation with CPUE variables were used in the Generalised Linear Model and Generalized Additive Model to reproduce the CPUE trajectory of the three tuna species from 1972 to 2019. Results showed that a significant portion of stock dynamics of Th. albacares, Th. alalunga and Th. obesus can be explained well by two environmental conditions of SST and AMO. This shows that a large portion of tuna variation in the Eastern and Southern Pacific is related to environmental conditions. Models with single variables are evidence of the significant individual effect of SST and AMO on stock time series of each tuna species. Models with two variables had a better fit in comparison to models with a single variable for all tuna stocks. Possibilities of two significantly different patterns in the trajectory of the three tuna species and environmental conditions used in the models were also observed. The trajectory patterns seemed to change around the 1990s and had significantly different means, indicating possible regime shifts. Environmental conditions play a highly significant role in structuring tuna stock trajectory in the South Pacific and need to be included in tuna management / harvest plans to ensure sustainability of this important resource. The importance of regime shifts should be recognised and further investigated for possible inclusion in tuna sustainability plans due to their influence on long-term tuna trajectory patterns.

Item Type: Journal Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: albacore tuna; bigeye tuna; yellowfin tuna; Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation; sea surface temperature; regime shift.
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General) > Q1-390 Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS)
Depositing User: Ashneel Singh
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2024 02:28
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2024 02:28
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/14198
UNSPECIFIED

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