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The relationship between the skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) fishery and seasonal temperature variability in the south-western Atlantic

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The spatio-temporal distribution of tuna fishing effort has been related to oceanographic circulation and features in several seas of the world. Understanding the relationship between environmental variables and fishery resource dynamics is important for management decisions and to improve fishery yields. The relationship between sea temperature variability and the pole-and-line skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) fishery in the south-western Atlantic Ocean was investigated in this work. Data from logbooks, satellite images (sea surface temperature), and oceanographic surveys were used in the analyses. Skipjack are caught in warm tropical waters of the Brazil Current (BC). The north–south displacement of fishing effort was strongly associated to seasonal variation of the surface temperature, which was coupled to the tropical BC flow. Oceanographic fronts from autumn to spring and a shallow thermocline in summer probably induces the aggregation of skipjack schools over the shelfbreak, favouring fishing operations. Hypotheses are proposed to explain the relationship between peaks of fishing events and the presence of topographic peculiarities of the shelfbreak.

Keywords: South Atlantic; pole-and-line fishery; sea surface temperature; sea temperature; skipjack tuna

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: UNIVALI – CTTMar, Caixa Postal 360, 88302-202 ItajaĆ­-SC, Brazil

Publication date: January 1, 2003


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