An Evaluation of the area stratification used for sampling tunas in the eastern Pacific Ocean and implications for estimating total annual catches

Suter, Jenny M. (2010) An Evaluation of the area stratification used for sampling tunas in the eastern Pacific Ocean and implications for estimating total annual catches. La Jolla, CA, Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commision, 114pp. (Special Report, 18)

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Abstract

The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) staff has been sampling the size distributions of tunas in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) since 1954, and the species composition of the catches since 2000. The IATTC staff use the data from the species composition samples, in conjunction with observer and/or logbook data, and unloading data from the canneries to estimate the total annual catches of yellowfin (Thunnus albacares), skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis), and bigeye (Thunnus obesus) tunas. These sample data are collected based on a stratified sampling design. I propose an update of the stratification of the EPO into more homogenous areas in order to reduce the variance in the estimates of the total annual catches and incorporate the geographical shifts resulting from the expansion of the floating-object fishery during the 1990s. The sampling model used by the IATTC is a stratified two-stage (cluster) random sampling design with first stage units varying (unequal) in size. The strata are month, area, and set type. Wells, the first cluster stage, are selected to be sampled only if all of the fish were caught in the same month, same area, and same set type. Fish, the second cluster stage, are sampled for lengths, and independently, for species composition of the catch. The EPO is divided into 13 sampling areas, which were defined in 1968, based on the catch distributions of yellowfin and skipjack tunas. This area stratification does not reflect the multi-species, multi-set-type fishery of today. In order to define more homogenous areas, I used agglomerative cluster analysis to look for groupings of the size data and the catch and effort data for 2000–2006. I plotted the results from both datasets against the IATTC Sampling Areas, and then created new areas. I also used the results of the cluster analysis to update the substitution scheme for strata with catch, but no sample. I then calculated the total annual catch (and variance) by species by stratifying the data into new Proposed Sampling Areas and compared the results to those reported by the IATTC. Results showed that re-stratifying the areas produced smaller variances of the catch estimates for some species in some years, but the results were not significant.

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: An Evaluation of the area stratification used for sampling tunas in the eastern Pacific Ocean and implications for estimating total annual catches
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Suter, Jenny M.
Series Name: Special Report
Number: 18
Number of Pages: 114
Date: 2010
Publisher: Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commision
Place of Publication: La Jolla, CA
Issuing Agency: Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission
Subjects: Fisheries
Item ID: 6833
Depositing User: Joan Parker
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2011 12:48
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2011 12:50
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/6833

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