Influence of Climatic Conditions on the Time Series Fluctuation of Yellowfin Tuna Thunnus albacares in the South Pacific Ocean


Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) is one of the most commercially important fish species for South Pacific island nations and territories and for effective conservation efforts it is important to understand the factors which affect its time series pattern. Our research was aimed at elucidating the climatic factors which affected the trajectory of the yellowfin tuna stock in the Eastern and Western South Pacific Ocean. We utilized various climatic factors for the years t - n with n = 0, 1, ..., 8 and investigated their statistical relationship with the catch per unit effort (CPUE) of yellowfin tuna stock from 1957-2008 for three South Pacific zones ranging from the East to the West Pacific Ocean within the coverage area of the Western and Central Pacific Convention Area. Results showed that the climatic conditions of: (i) the global mean land and ocean temperature index (LOTI), (ii) the Pacific warm pool index (PWI) and (iii) Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) had significant relationship with the CPUE of yellowfin tuna in all three zones. LOTI, PWI and SOI were used as independent variables and fitted through modeling to replicate the CPUE trajectory of the yellowfin tuna in Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3. Model selection was based on significant parameter estimates (p < 0.05), Akaikes Information Criterion (AIC) and R2 values. Models selected for all three zones had LOTI, PWI and SOI as the independent variables. This study shows that LOTI, PWI and SOI are climatic conditions which have significant impact on the fluctuation pattern of the yellowfin tuna CPUE in the Eastern and Western South Pacific Ocean. From the findings of this study it can be recommended that when management decisions are made for yellowfin tuna fishery conservation and sustainability in the Eastern and Western South Pacific, it is imperative to take the effect of climatic factors into account.

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Singh, A. , Suzuki, N. and Sakuramoto, K. (2015) Influence of Climatic Conditions on the Time Series Fluctuation of Yellowfin Tuna Thunnus albacares in the South Pacific Ocean. Open Journal of Marine Science, 5, 247-264. doi: 10.4236/ojms.2015.53020.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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