8.6 Blue Marlin and White Marlin

8.6 Blue Marlin and White Marlin

8.7 SAI Sailfish Few changes from 2006 Executive Summary because of the absence of new assessment 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 -5 -1 0 -1 5 -2 0 -2 5

-3 0 -3 5 -4 0 -4 5 -5 0 -5 5 -6 0 -6 5 -7 0 -7 5 -8 0 -8 5 -9 0 -9 5 -1 0 0 SAI-1. Biology 70 Sailfish (Istiophorus

platypterus) has a pantropical distribution. There are two management units for Atlantic sailfish, eastern and western. 65 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 -5 L o n g lin e O th e r g e a rs -1 0 -1 5 -2 0 -2 5 -3 0

-3 5 SAI WEST SAI EAST -4 0 -4 5 -5 0 No changes to the biology section 8.7 SAI - SAILFISH The last sailfish assessment was conducted in 2001. SAI-1. Biology Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) has a pan-tropical distribution. ICCAT has established, based on life history information on migration rates and geographic distribution of catch, that there are two management units for Atlantic sailfish, eastern and western (Figure 1). Considerable amount of research continues to be done on the vertical distribution of sailfish. Sailfish are targeted by coastal artisanal and recreational fleets and, to a less extent, are caught as by-catch of longliners and purse seiners 40 35

30 25 20 15 10 5 0 -5 -1 0 -1 5 -2 0 -2 5 -3 0 -3 5 -4 0 -4 5 -5 0 -5 5

-6 0 -6 5 -7 0 -7 5 -8 0 -8 5 -9 0 -9 5 -1 0 0 SAI-2. Description of the fisheries 70 65 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10

5 0 -5 L o n g lin e O th e r g e a rs -1 0 -1 5 -2 0 -2 5 -3 0 -3 5 -4 0 -4 5 -5 0 SAI 6000 catches (t) SAI-2. Description of the fisheries EAST 5000 4000 AT.E 3000

AT.W UNCL a 2000 1000 200 4 1104 1122 200 5 1274 1120 200 6 935 697 2006 2004 2002 2000 1998 1996 1994

1992 1990 1988 1986 1984 1982 1980 1978 1974 1972 1970 1968 1966 1964 1962 1960 1958

1956 1954 1952 1950 SAI EAST SAI WEST 1976 WEST 0 Only changes are updates of values for 2006 catch from task I SAI-2. Description of the fisheries Sailfish are targeted by coastal artisanal and recreational fleets and, to a less extent, are caught as by-catch of longliners and purse seiners (SAI-Figure 1). Historically,catches of sailfish were reported together with spearfish by many longline fleets. At present it is not possible to appropriately separate the catches of these two species (SAI-Table 1). Large historical catches of unclassified billfish continue to be reported to the Committee making the estimation of sailfish catch difficult. Preliminary and incomplete reports to ICCAT suggest that the 2006 task I catch was 589 t and 645 t, respectively, for the east and west region (SAI-Figure 2). Task I catches of sailfish for 2006 are preliminary because they do not include reports from several important fleets. SAI-4. State of the stocks No new information on stock status has been provided since the 2001 assessment. No changes to the text SAI-3. State of the stocks No new assessments of the sailfish stocks have been conducted since 2001. No relative abundance indices have

been presented since 2001. Although the 2001 attempts at quantitatively assessing the status of these two stocks (eastern and western sailfish) proved to be unsatisfactory, there were indications of early decreases in biomass for these two stocks. These decreases probably lowered the biomass of the stocks to levels that may be producing sustainable catches, but it is unknown whether biomass levels are below those that could produce MSY. SAI-5. Recovery/Outlook No new information on the recovery/outlook for sailfish has been provided since the 2001 assessment. No changes to the text SAI-4. Outlook There is no new information available to change the outlook as presented in the 2001 report. It is unknown if the western or eastern sailfish stocks are undergoing over-fishing (F>FMSY) or if the stocks are currently over-fished (B

SAI-7. Management recommendations (cont.) Propose an inter-session data preparatory meeting in 2008 leading to a sailfish assessment in 2009. The intersessional meeting should: review of sailfish catch and effort data, with particular attention to catch estimates from artisanal fleets, separation of spearfish out of those historic catch reports where both species were reported as combined and relative abundance indices for the coastal artisanal fleets.. Slight rewording of last paragraph SAI-6. Management recommendations Management recommendations here are the same as those made in 2006. The previous management recommendations indicated that the Commission should consider methods for reducing fishing mortality rates. The current western Atlantic assessment leads the Committee to recommend that the western Atlantic sailfish catches should not exceed current levels. For the east Atlantic, sailfish catches should not exceed current levels and the Commission should consider practical and alternative methods to reduce fishing mortality and assure data collection systems. The Committee is concerned about the incomplete reporting of sailfish catches, particularly for the most recent years. The Committee recommends all countries landing sailfish and spearfish or having dead discards of these, report these data by species to the ICCAT Secretariat. Before the next sailfish assessment can proceed there needs to be a review of sailfish catch and effort data, with particular attention to catch estimates from artisanal fleets, separation of spearfish out of those historic catch reports where both species were reported as combined and relative abundance indices for the coastal artisanal fleets. This should be done in an inter-session meeting in 2008 leading to a sailfish assessment in 2009.

SAI Summary Table No changes to the table ATLANTIC SAILFISH SUMMARY1 Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) West Atlantic Not estimated East Atlantic Not estimated Recent Yield (2000) 506 t 969 t 2000 Replacement Yield ~ 600 t Not estimated Management Measures in Effect None None

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