CECOFAD is co-financed Under European Fisheries Policy.
In the absence of suitable standardization of purse-seiner CPUE indices, most of the stock assessments of tropical tunas worldwide are based on longline CPUE indices which rarely account for changes in technology in the standardization process and only depict the biomass of the older fraction of tuna populations. In addition, skipjack stock assessments mainly depend on the accuracy of abundance indices obtained from purse-seiner CPUEs and do not account for the major changes in purse-seiner strategies that have taken place over the last two decades through the development of FAD technology and their increasing use.
The overall objective of the CECOFAD project will be to provide insights into the fishing effort units (for both fishing modes: FADs and free schools) to be used in the calculation of purse-seiner CPUEs in the Atlantic as well as in the Indian and the Pacific Oceans, where European purse-seiners also operate, to ultimately obtain standardized indices of abundance for juveniles and adults of tropical tunas. With regards to the Ecosystem Approach of Fisheries, the CECOFAD project will provide new knowledge on the impact of FAD-fishing on the epipelagic ecosystem and will be of high relevance to support the decision-making to implement proper future regulations of tuna and by-catch resources. CECOFAD will also foster a collaborative research between scientists and fishermen.
The project coordinator: Daniel Gartner
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