Aquat. Living Resour.
Volume 13, Number 2, March 2000
|Page(s)||91 - 98|
|Published online||15 March 2000|
Fish stock assessment of the northern New Caledonian lagoons : 3 – Fishing pressure, potential yields and impact on management options
Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Reef fisheries assessment and management section, BP D5, 98848 Nouméa, New Caledonia
2 Station marine d’Endoume, centre d’océanologie de Marseille, université de la Méditerranée, rue de la Batterie des Lions, 13007 Marseille, France
3 Centre IRD, BP A5, 98848 Nouméa, New Caledonia
4 University of Miami, RSMAS, Miami, FL 33149, USA
Accepted: 8 March 2000
The potential yields of demersal reefal and lagoonal finfish, which are valuable for trade or consumption in the Northern Province of New Caledonia, are unknown. Fishing pressure was estimated from tally-sheets of professional fishermen to assess trade fishing and a household consumption survey to assess subsistence fishing. Total yield was estimated to be 1326 tonnes in 1995, 94 % of which correspond to subsistence fishing. Most of the catches were taken from the east and west coasts; in the north zone (Bélep Archipelago) catches were very low. From this fishing pressure and the total stock values, the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) was estimated to be 12600 t, which was about 10 % of the total stocks assessed in the Northern Province (138300 t). This MSY was dominated by five families, namely Lethrinidae, Acanthuridae, Scaridae, Serranidae and Lutjanidae. The results suggest that fishing effort in the Northern Province of New Caledonia could increase without endangering the stock. However, on a smaller geographical scale, some locations (Koné and Népoui on the west coast), reef habitats (near-reef areas) or species groups (fish caught by line) were already being intensively fished. Fishing techniques should be diversified so that part of the fishing effort be redirected toward the least heavily exploited groups of species and biotopes.
Key words: Lagoon fisheries / fishery resources / current yields / maximum sustainable yields / subsistence fishing / New Caledonia / Pacific Ocean
© Elsevier, Inra, Ifremer, Cemagref, Ird, Cnrs, 2000
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