This study investigated the spatial distribution of juvenile North Pacific albacore (Thunnus alalunga) in relation to local environmental variability [i.e. sea surface temperature (SST)], and two large-scale indices of climate variability, [the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Multivariate El Nin˜o/Southern Oscillation Index (MEI)]. Changes in local and climate variables were correlated with 48 years of albacore troll catch per unit effort (CPUE) in 18 latitude/longitude cells, using threshold Generalized Additive Mixed Models (tGAMMs). Model terms were included to account for non-stationary and spatially variable effects of the intervening covariates on albacore CPUE. Results indicate that SST had a positive and spatially variable effect on albacore CPUE, with increasingly positive effects to the North, whilePDOhad an overall negative effect. Although albacore CPUE increased with SST both before and after a threshold year of 1986, such effect geographically shifted north after 1986. This is the first study to demonstrate the non-stationary spatial dynamics of albacore tuna, linked with a major shift of the North Pacific. Results imply that if ocean temperatures continue to increase, US west coast fisher communities reliant on commercial albacore fisheries are likely to be negatively affected in the southern areas but positively affected in the northern areas, where current albacore landings are highest.

Authors: 
Phillips, A. Jason, L. Ciannelli, et al
Short Description: 
The results of this study imply that if ocean temperatures continue to increase, US west coast fisher communities reliant on commercial albacore fisheries are likely to be either negatively or positively affected depending on location.
Product Number: 
ORESU-R-14-001
Entry Date: 
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Length: 
11 pp.
Size and Format: 
8 1/2 x 11, online
Source (Journal Article): 
ICES Journal of Marine Science
DOI Number (Journal Article): 
10.1093/icesjms/fst238
Year of Publication: 
2014