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Characterizing catch variability in a multispecies fishery: implications for fishery management

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Exploiting several fish species simultaneously reduces variability in daily catches. The reduction depends on the number of species, the catch-frequency distributions of individual species, and the level of co-occurrence of species in the catch. We explore theoretically the reduction of variability (coefficient of variation; CV) in the total catch by combining the distributions of daily catches of individual fish species, including zero catches, into a total catch frequency distribution. Theoretical findings are tested with an example from a stationary lift-net fishery for schooling small pelagic species around Ambon Island in the Central Moluccas, Indonesia. This fishery catches over 30 species, all with high daily variability (CV = 2.2–13.4). The reduction of variability in the total catch (CV = 1.7) is a result of the dominance and independent occurrence of the three main species. We conclude that in this fishery the information value of the total catch as an indicator of the catches of the individual species is low.

L'exploitation simultanée de plusieurs espèces de poissons peut réduire la variabilité des captures journalières. L'importance de cette réduction dépend du nombre d'espèces, de la distribution de fréquence des espèces dans la récolte et du niveau de la co-occurrence des espèces dans la récolte. Nous examinons en théorie la réduction de la variabilité (coefficient de variation; CV) dans les captures totales en combinant les distributions des captures journalières d'espèces particulières, incluant les captures nulles, dans la distribution de fréquence des captures totales. Un exemple tiré d'une pêche commerciale à carrelet de petits poissons pélagiques vivant en bancs près de l'Îsle Amboine (Moluques, Indonésie) permet de tester les résultats théoriques. Les récoltes incluent plus de 30 espèces de poissons, chacune avec une variabilité journalière élevée (CV = 2,2–13,4). La réduction de la variabilité dans la capture totale (CV = 1,7) est le résultat de la dominance et de l'occurrence indépendante des trois espèces principales. Dans cette pêche commerciale, la valeur prédictive de la capture totale comme indicateur de la capture des espèces particulières est basse.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2002

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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