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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

Reconstructing historical trends of small pelagic fish in the Java Sea using standardized commercial trip based catch per unit of effort

Cardinale, Massimiliano; Nugroho, Duto; Hernroth, Lars


Pelagic fish stocks in the Java Sea have been exploited intensively since the beginning of the 1970s. However, due to the effect of increased fishing power of the fleets and the changing nature of spatial and temporal distribution of the fishing effort, assessment of stock trends based on commercial data of catch and effort requires the standardization of both effort and catch data. Here we present the first attempt to reconstruct a standardized time series of commercial catch per unit of effort (CPUE) for the main pelagic species exploited by the purse seine fleet in the Java Sea. The results showed that all the stocks analysed have largely declined since the beginning of the 1990s. For bigeye scad, Indian mackerel and sardine, current estimates are only between 3 and 19% of the maximum observed value while round scads and spotted sardine biomass estimates lie between 18 and 34%. However, our assumptions about the effect of lamp power and level of creeping and the fact that the influence of fish density on catchability and the effect of targeting were not taken into account thus observed decline is a rather conservative estimate of the real decline of the stocks. If effective management actions are not put in place as a matter of urgency in the Java Sea for small pelagic fisheries, one runs the risk of adding those species to the long list of overexploited stocks of the world oceans. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Java Sea; Pelagic fish; CPUE; GAMs

Published in

Fisheries Research
2009, Volume: 99, number: 3, pages: 151-158

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    Agricultural Science

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