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Using remote-sensing data to detect habitat suitability for yellowfin tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean

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The empirical habitat suitability index (HSI) has been widely used to examine the habitat characteristics of terrestrial animals, though rarely used in highly migratory fish such as tuna. This study used the geographic information system technique to establish empirical models of HSI for yellowfin tuna (YFT) in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO). Daily catch data from the Taiwanese purse seine fishery during 2003–2007 were aggregated monthly into sequential degrees before match processing the conducted data to obtain monthly remote-sensing data for multi-environmental factors, including sea surface temperature (SST), chlorophyll-a (chl-a), sea surface height (SSH) and sea surface salinity (SSS). According to the frequency distribution of each factor on which YFT were caught, this study transformed the values of the four factors into a suitability index (SI) ranging from low to high (0–1). These SI values were consequently combined into different empirical HSI models, and the optimum models were selected using the general linear model. The optimum empirical HSI for YFT in the study area was converted for SI (SST, SSH, chl-a and SSS) using the arithmetic mean model, of which the correct prediction rate was 71.9%. An agreement was present between the average HSI and total YFT catch. Furthermore, the high HSI area corresponds with the displacement of catch per unit effort (CPUE).
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Environmental Biology and Fisheries Science,National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung,20224, Taiwan, ROC

Publication date: 2012-12-10

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