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Albacore (Thunnus alalunga) fishing ground in relation to oceanographic conditions in the western North Pacific Ocean using remotely sensed satellite data

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Satellite-based oceanographic data of sea surface temperature (SST), sea surface chlorophyll-a concentration (SSC), and sea surface height anomaly (SSHA) together with catch data were used to investigate the relationship between albacore fishing ground and oceanographic conditions and also to predict potential habitats for albacore in the western North Pacific Ocean. Empirical cumulative distribution function and high catch data analyses were used to calculate preferred ranges of the three oceanographic conditions. Results indicate that highest catch per unit efforts (CPUEs) corresponded with areas of SST 18.5–21.5°C, SSC 0.2–0.4 mg m−3, and SSHA −5.0 to 32.2 cm during the winter in the period 1998–2000. We used these ranges to generate a simple prediction map for detecting potential fishing grounds. Statistically, to predict spatial patterns of potential albacore habitats, we applied a combined generalized additive model (GAM) / generalized linear model (GLM). To build our model, we first constructed a GAM as an exploratory tool to identify the functional relationships between the environmental variables and CPUE; we then made parameters out of these relationships using the GLM to generate a robust prediction tool. The areas of highest CPUEs predicted by the models were consistent with the potential habitats on the simple prediction map and observation data, suggesting that the dynamics of ocean eddies (November 1998 and 2000) and fronts (November 1999) may account for the spatial patterns of highest albacore catch rates predicted in the study area. The results also suggest that multispectrum satellite data can provide useful information to characterize and predict potential tuna habitats.
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Keywords: albacore; generalized additive model; generalized linear model; potential habitat; satellite data; simple prediction map; western North Pacific Ocean

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Japan Fisheries Information and Service Center (JAFIC), 2-9-7 Ikenohata Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0008, Japan 2: Laboratory of Marine Environment and Resource Sensing, Graduate School of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University, 3-1-1 Minato-cho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 041-8611, Japan

Publication date: 2008-03-01

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