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

DOI: 10.4236/ajcc.2015.44024   PDF   HTML   XML   4,083 Downloads   4,716 Views   Citations


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.

Share and Cite:

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.


[1] Lehodey, P., Hampton, J., Brill, R.W., Nicol, S., Senina, I., Calmettes, B., Portner, H.O., Bopp, L., Ilyina, T., Bell, J.D. and Sibert, J. (2011) Vulnerability of Oceanic Fisheries in the Tropical Pacific to Climate Change. In: Bell, J.D., Jhonson, J.E. and Hobday, A.J., Eds., Vulnerability of Tropical Pacific Fisheries and Aquaculture to Climate Change, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, 435-484.
[2] SPC (2012) Oceanic Fisheries and Climate Change. Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Policy Brief No. 15/2012.
[3] Bell, J.D., Kronen, M., Vunisea, A., Nash, W.J., Keeble, G., Demmke, A., Pontifex, S. and Andréfouët, S. (2009) Planning the Use of Fish for Food Security in the Pacific. Marine Policy, 33, 64-76.
[4] Gillett, R. (2009) Fisheries in the Economics of Pacific Island Countries and Territories. Pacific Studies Series, Asian Development Bank, Manila.
[5] Collette, B. and Nauen, C. (1983) FAO Species Catalogue, Vol. 2. Scombrids of the World. An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of Tunas, Mackerels, Bonitos and Related Species Known to Date. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125.
[6] Miyake, M.P., Miyabe, N. and Nakano, H. (2004) Historical Trends of Tuna Catches in the World. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 467, Rome.
[7] ISSF. (2011) Status of the World Fisheries for Tuna: Management of Tuna Stocks and Fisheries. ISSF Technical Report 2011-05. International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, Virginia.
[8] Aaheim, A. and Signa, L. (2000) Economic Impacts of Climate Change on Tuna Fisheries in Fiji Islands and Kiribati. CICERO Report 2000:4, Center for International Climate and Environmental Research, Blindern.
[9] Amoe, J. (2005) Fiji Tuna and Billfish Fisheries. 1st Meeting of the Scientific Committee of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, Noumea, 8-19 August 2005, WCPFC-SCI, FR WP-12.
[10] Jones, J.B. (1991) Movements of Albacore Tuna (Thunnus alalunga) in the South Pacific—Evidence from Parasites. Marine Biology, 111, 1-9.
[11] Langley, A.D. and Hoyle, S.D. (2008) Report from the Stock Assessment Preparatory Workshop. No. WCPFC SC4 SA-IP-5, SPC, Noumea, February 2008.
[12] Polovina, J.J., Howell, E., Kobayashi, D.R. and Seki, M.P. (2001) The Transition Zone Chlorophyll Front, a Dynamic Global Feature Defining Migration and Forage Habitat for Marine Resources. Progress in Oceanography, 49, 469-483.
[13] Harley, S., Williams, P., Nicol, S. and Hampton, J. (2011) The Western and Central Pacific Tuna Fishery: 2010 Overview and Status of Stocks. Tuna Fisheries Assessment Report No. 11, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea.
[14] Lehodey, P., Senina, I., Calmettes, B., Hampton, J. and Nicol, S. (2013) Modelling the Impact of Climate Change on Pacific Skipjack Tuna Population and Fisheries. Climate Change, 119, 95-109.
[15] Le Borgne, R., Allain, V., Griffiths, S.P., Matear, R.J., McKinnon, A.D., Richardson, A.J. and Young, J.W. (2011) Vulnerability of Open Ocean Food Webs in the Tropical Pacific to Climate Change. In: Bell, J.D., Johnson, J.E. and Hobday, A.J., Eds., Vulnerability of Tropical Pacific Fisheries and Aquaculture to Climate Change, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, 189-249.
[16] Ganachaud, A., Gupta, A.S., Brown, J.N., Evans, K., Maes, C., Muir, L.C. and Graham, F.S. (2013) Projected Changes in the Tropical Pacific Ocean of Importance to Tuna Fisheries. Climate Change, 119, 163-179.
[17] Singh, A.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.
[18] Lehodey, P., Chai, F. and Hampton, J. (2003) Modelling Climate-Related Variability of Tuna Populations from a Coupled Ocean-Biogeochemical-Populations Dynamics Model. Fisheries Oceanography, 12, 483-494.
[19] Zainuddin, M., Saitoh, S. and Saitoh, K. (2004) Detection of Potential Fishing Ground for Albacore Tuna Using Synoptic Measurements of Ocean Colour and Thermal Remote Sensing in the Northwestern North Pacific. Geophysical Research Letters, 31, Article ID: L20311.
[20] Dufour, F., Arrizabalaga, H., Irigoien, X. and Santiago, J. (2010) Climate Impacts on Albacore and Bluefin Tunas Migrations Phenology and Spatial Distribution. Progress in Oceanography, 86, 283-290.
[21] SPC (2012) The Western and Central Pacific tuna Fishery: 2010 Overview and Status of Stocks. Policy Brief No. 14/2012, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea.
[22] Hansen. J., Ruedy, R., Sato, M. and Lo, K. (2010) Global Surface Temperature Change. Reviews of Geophysics, 48, 1-29.
[23] ALBWG (2011) Stock Assessment of Albacore Tuna in the North Pacific Ocean in 2011. In: Report of the Albacore Working Group Stock Assessment Workshop, Shizuoka, 4-11 June 2011, 10-18.
[24] Wells, R.D., Kohin, S., Teo, S.L., Snodgrass, O.E. and Uosaki, K. (2013) Age and Growth of North Pacific Albacore (Thunnus alalunga): Implications for Stock Assessment. Fisheries Research, 147, 55-62.
[25] Chen, K.S., Shimose, T., Tanabe, T., Chen, C.Y. and Hsu, C.C. (2012) Age and Growth of Albacore Thunnus alalunga in the North Pacific Ocean. Journal of Fish Biology, 80, 2328-2344.
[26] Zurr, A.F., Leno, E.N. and Elphick, C.S. (2010) A Protocol for Data Exploration to Avoid Common Statistical Problems. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 1, 3-14.
[27] Dickey, D.A. and Fuller, W.A. (1979) Distribution of the Estimators for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 74, 427-431.
[28] Kwiatkowski, D., Phillips, P.C.B., Schmidt, P. and Shin, Y. (1992) Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity against the Alternative of a Unit Root. Journal of Econometrics, 54, 159-178.
[29] MacKinnon, J.G. (1996) Numerical Distribution Functions for Unit Root and Cointegration Tests. Journal of Applied Econometrics, 11, 601-618.;2-T
[30] Myers, R.H., Montgomery, D.C. and Anderson-Cook, C.M. (2009) Response Surface Methodology: Process and Product Optimization Using Designed Experiments. John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken.
[31] Buchanan, R.L. and Phillips, J.G. (1990) Response Surface Model for Predicting the Effects of Temperature, pH, Sodium Chloride Content, Sodium Nitrate Concentration and Atmosphere on the Growth of Listeria monocytogenes. Journal of Food Protection, 53, 370-381.
[32] Bezerra, M.A., Santelli, R.E., Oliveira, E.P., Villar, L.S. and Escaleira, L.A. (2008) Response Surface Methodology as a Tool for Optimization in Analytical Chemistry. Talanta, 76, 965-977.
[33] Box, G.E. and Behnken, D.W. (1960) Some New Three Level Designs for the Study of Quantitative Variables. Technometrics, 2, 455-475.
[34] Fox, J. (2008) Applied Regression Analysis and Generalized Linear Models. 2nd Edition, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.
[35] Akaike, H. (1981) Likelihood of a Model and Information Criteria. Journal of Econometrics, 16, 3-14.
[36] R Core Team (2014) R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna.
[37] Bigelow, K.A., Hampton, J. and Miyabe, N. (2002) Application of a Habitat-Based Model to Estimate the Effective Longline Fishing Effort and Relative Abundance of Pacific Bigeye Tuna (Thunnus obesus). Fisheries Oceanography, 11, 143-155.
[38] Ramon, D. and Bailey, K. (1996) Spawning Seasonality of Albacore, Thunnus alalunga, in the South Pacific Ocean. Fishery Bulletin, 94, 725-733.
[39] Chen, I., Lee, P. and Tzeng, W. (2005) Distribution of Albacore (Thunnus alalunga) in the Indian Ocean and Its Relation to Environmental Factors. Fisheries Oceanography, 14, 71-80.
[40] Zainuddin, M., Kiyofuji, H., Saitoh, K. and Saitoh, S. (2006) Using Multi-Sensor Satellite Remote Sensing and Catch Data to Detect Ocean Hot Spots for Albacore (Thunnus alalunga) in the Northwestern North Pacific. Deep-Sea Research II, 53, 419-431.
[41] Farley, J.H., Williams, A.J., Hoyle, S.D., Davies, C.R. and Nicol, S.J. (2012) Reproductive Dynamics and Potential Annual Fecundity of South Pacific Albacore Tuna (Thunnus alalunga). PLoS ONE, 8, e60577.
[42] Bell, J.D., Reid, C., Batty, M.J., Lehodey, P., Rodwell, L., Hobday, A.J., Johnson, J.E. and Demmke, A. (2013) Effects of Climate Change on Oceanic Fisheries in the Tropical Pacific: Implications for Economic Development and Food Security. Climate Change, 119, 199-212.
[43] Ganachaud, A., Gupta, A.S., Orr, J.C., Wijffels, S.E., Ridgway, K.R., Hemer, M.A., Maes, C., Steinberg, C.R., Tribollet, A.D., Qiu, B. and Kruger, J.C. (2011) Observed and Expected Changes in the Tropical Pacific Ocean. In: Bell, J.D., Johnson, J.E. and Hobday, A.J., Eds., Vulnerability of Tropical Pacific Fisheries and Aquaculture to Climate Change, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, 101-187.
[44] Zhang, Y., Wallace, J.M. and Battisti, D.S. (1997) ENSO-Like Interdecadal Variability: 1900-93. Journal of Climate, 10, 1004-1020.;2
[45] Mantua, N.J., Hare, S.R., Zhang, Y., Wallace, J.M. and Francis, R.C. (1997) A Pacific Interdecadal Climate Oscillation with Impacts on Salmon Production. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 78, 1069-1079.;2
[46] Deser, C., Phillips, A.S. and Hurrell, J.W. (2004) Pacific Interdecadal Climate Variability: Linkages between the Tropics and the North Pacific during Boreal Winter since 1900. Journal of Climate, 17, 3109-3124.;2
[47] Linsley, B.K., Wu, H.C., Dassié, E.P. and Schrag, D.P. (2015) Decadal Changes in South Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures and the Relationship to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Upper Ocean Heat Content. Geophysical Research Letters, 42, 2358-2366.
[48] Lehodey, P., Senina, I., Nicol, S. and Hampton, J. (2015) Modelling the Impact of Climate Change on South Pacific Albacore Tuna. Deep Sea Research Part II: Tropical Studies in Oceanography, 113, 246-259.
[49] Rice, J. and Garcia, S. (2011) Fisheries, Food Security, Climate Change and Biodiversity: Characteristics of the Sector and Perspectives on Emerging Issues. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 68, 1343-1353.
[50] Nicol, S.J., Allain, V., Pilling, G.M., Polovina, J., Coll, M., Bell, J., Dalzell, P., Sharples, P., Olson, R., Griffiths, S., Dambacher, J.M., Young, J., Lewis, A., Hampton, J., Molina, J.J., Hoyle, S., Briand, K., Bax, N., Lehodey, P. and Williams, P. (2013) An Ocean Observation System for Monitoring the Effects of Climate Change on the Ecology and Sustainability of Pelagic Fisheries in the Pacific Ocean. Climate Change, 119, 131-145.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.