Tagging Atlantic bluefin tuna from a Mediterranean spawning ground using a purse seiner

Type Article
Date 2020-06
Language English
Author(s) Rouyer Tristan1, Bonhommeau SylvainORCID2, Giordano Nicolas3, Giordano François3, Ellul Saviour4, Ellul Giovanni4, Deguara Simeon5, Wendling Bertrand6, Bernard Serge7, Kerzerho Vincent7
Affiliation(s) 1 : MARBEC, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS, Ifremer, IRD, Sète, France
2 : IFREMER DOI, Rue Jean Bertho, 97822, Le Port, La Réunion, France
3 : Armement « Saint Sophie François II & III », SARL SSF, 15 Quai d’Alger, 34200 Sète, France
4 : MFF Ltd, Hangar, Triq it – Trunciera, Marsaxlokk MXK 1522, Malta
5 : AquaBioTech Group, Central Complex Naggar Street - Targa Gap, Mosta MST 1761, Malta
6 : SATHOAN, 28, Promenade J.B. Marty, 34200 Sète, France
7 : LIRMM, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS, Montpellier, France
Source Fisheries Research (0165-7836) (Elsevier BV), 2020-06 , Vol. 226 , P. 105522 (6p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.fishres.2020.105522
WOS© Times Cited 4
Keyword(s) Large Atlantic bluefin tuna, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean stock, Electronic tagging, Purse seine, Migrations

Atlantic bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus, is as an emblematic and commercially valuable large pelagic species. In the past ten years, the purse seine fishery in the Mediterranean represents more than 50 % of the catch. Nowadays, purse seines target large fish and operate during the spawning season in the spawning grounds. Electronic tagging has shed a considerable amount of light on the ecology and behaviour of bluefin tuna over the past twenty years. However, such technique has rarely been applied on large bluefin tunas caught by the Mediterranean purse seine fishery despite its major importance. The logistical constraints related to this specific fishery, combined with the timing of migration of the fish and the requirements related to the handling of big fish have made adequate tagging from purse seines complex. Here we detail such an operation, designed to bridge the knowledge gap on the migratory behaviour of tunas targeted by the purse seine fishery. Three large bluefin tunas from the same school were tagged during the fishing operation of a French purse seine, resulting in a different migration pattern than previous deployments. The fish were tagged onboard in less than 2 min and efficiently, avoiding any subsequent mortality. These results contrast with those from tagging operations carried out in the Northwest Mediterranean, which underlies the importance of tagging operations from purse seines to obtain unbiased description of the movements of the eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna stock in the context of its management.

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Rouyer Tristan, Bonhommeau Sylvain, Giordano Nicolas, Giordano François, Ellul Saviour, Ellul Giovanni, Deguara Simeon, Wendling Bertrand, Bernard Serge, Kerzerho Vincent (2020). Tagging Atlantic bluefin tuna from a Mediterranean spawning ground using a purse seiner. Fisheries Research, 226, 105522 (6p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2020.105522 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00607/71876/