Impact of Climatic Factors on Albacore Tuna Thunnus alalunga in the South Pacific Ocean


Over the years there has been growing interest regarding the effects of climatic variations on marine biodiversity. The exclusive economic zones of South Pacific Islands and territories are home to major international exploitable stocks of albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga); however the impact of climatic variations on these stocks is not fully understood. This study was aimed at determining the climatic variables which have impact on the time series stock fluctuation pattern of albacore tuna stock in the Eastern and Western South Pacific Ocean which was divided into three zones. The relationship of the climatic variables for the global mean land and ocean temperature index (LOTI), the Pacific warm pool index (PWI) and the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) was investigated against the albacore tuna catch per unit effort (CPUE) time series in Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3 of the South Pacific Ocean from 1957 to 2008. From the results it was observed that LOTI, PWI and PDO at different lag periods exhibited significant correlation with albacore tuna CPUE for all three areas. LOTI, PWI and PDO were used as independent variables to develop suitable stock reproduction models for the trajectory of albacore tuna CPUE in Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3. Model selection was based on Akaike Information Criterion (AIC), R2 values and significant parameter estimates at p < 0.05. The final models for albacore tuna CPUE in all three zones incorporated all three independent variables of LOTI, PWI and PDO. From the findings it can be said that the climatic conditions of LOTI, PWI and PDO play significant roles in structuring the stock dynamics of the albacore tuna in the Eastern and Western South Pacific Ocean. It is imperative to take these factors into account when making management decisions for albacore tuna in these areas.

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Singh, A. , Sakuramoto, K. and Suzuki, N. (2015) Impact of Climatic Factors on Albacore Tuna Thunnus alalunga in the South Pacific Ocean. American Journal of Climate Change, 4, 295-312. doi: 10.4236/ajcc.2015.44024.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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