Commercial catch data in the Marshalls' EEZ in 2016

Longline vessels catching tuna in RMI waters in FY2016 were from China, Federated States of Micronesia and Japan, and Marshall Islands chartered longline vessels. Forty-four percent of this total catch (1,245mt) was brought in by Marshall Islands chartered longliners.

HIGHLIGHT
The number of foreign longline, pole and line and purse seine fishing vessels increased in FY2016, continuing an up-and-down trend since 2012. The 190 foreign vessels licensed in FY2016 was a five-year high, beating the 185 licensed two years earlier. The increase from FY2015 of 162 vessels to 190 in FY2016 saw a near tripling of catch tonnage, from just over 30,000mt in FY2015 to 79,669mt.

Purse seine vessels: Total catch by purse seiners operating in the Marshall Islands EEZ was 76,384 metric tons (mt), a significant increase over the previous year when 26,344 tons were caught. The 76,384mt is the highest in the past five years, and reflects location of tuna schools during the year. South Korea, which had 32 boats registered in Marshall Islands in FY2016 compared to five the previous year, had 25 percent of the catch with 19,824mt. US, Taiwan and Papua New Guinea purse seiners had the next highest catches in Marshall Islands waters. About 90 percent of the catch was skipjacktuna.

Longline vessels: FY2016 saw the second year of declining catches following a five-year high of 7,798mt in 2014. In FY2016, 2,855mt were caught. Longline vessels catching tuna in RMI waters in FY2016 were from China, Federated States of Micronesia and Japan, and Marshall Islands-chartered longline vessels. Forty-four percent of this total catch (1,245mt) was brought in by Marshall Islands longliners. FSM vessels had the next highest production at 970mt, while Chinese vessels pulled in 586mt. Of the 2,855mt tons caught, 1,616mt was bigeye tuna, 1,168mt was yellowfin tuna, while 71mt was albacore tuna.

Pole and line vessels: Pole and line- caught tuna tonnage continued to decline for the second year. A total of 430mt was caught in the Marshall Islands EEZ in FY2016, down from FY2015’s 618mts. The number of pole and line vessels licensed to fish in the Marshall Islands has dropped by nearly 50 percent, from 20 in FY2014 to 13 in FY2015 and 11 in FY2016. Skipjack tuna accounted for all but one metric ton of the total caught in FY2016.

Note: tonnage figures are from fisheries observer logsheet data collected by MIMRA and are subject to change following evaluation and analysis. For example, the MIMRA FY2015 annual report stated that the FY2015 purse seine catch in Marshall Islands EEZ was reported at 26,694 metric tons. The final figure was revised to 26,344mt.

MIFV Boats

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Processing tuna at MIFV

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