Akyol O., Ceyhan T. 2012, Turkish driftnet fishery for albacore, Thunnus alalunga (Actinopterygii: Perciformes: Scombridae), and incidental catches in the eastern Mediterranean. Acta Ichthyol. Piscat. 42 (2): 131–135.
Fishing operations for albacore, Thunnus alalunga (Bonnaterre, 1788), are mainly carried out by pelagic longline in the Mediterranean, whereas driftnets are the main fishing gear for albacore catch in Turkey. The albacore driftnet fishery has been carried out since 2004 and about 40 vessels participated in this venture between May and July especially in the Gulf of Antalya. The aim of this study was to determine the Catch Per Unit of Effort (CPUE) and bycatch from the Turkish albacore fleet during the 2010–2011 fishing seasons.
Materials and methods.
This study was carried out with 18 representative drift-netters based at the port of Alanya, Kaş, Fethiye, and Sığacık from May to July 2010 and from May to July 2011. On each fishing trip, data were collected on date, location, depth, fishing boat characteristics, fishing gear aspects, and the capture of both target and non-target species by weight (biomass) and number.
A total of 125 data sets were collected. The mean CPUEs for albacore by number and weight were 13 ± 1.6 specimens and 90 ± 11 kg per km of net, respectively. A total of 12 species, belonging to 9 families were caught during the sampling period. The target species—albacore—had the highest ratio both in number (76.6%) and weight (62.8%) followed by, Euthynnus alletteratus, Xiphias gladius, Thunnus thynnus, and Auxis rochei. Ratios of biomass and number ratios of the non-target species to the target albacore were 1 : 0.59 kg and 1 : 0.31 individuals, respectively.
Traditional Turkish pelagic driftnet fishery, dating back to the early 1900s, was halted in July 2011 by the Turkish fisheries authority to comply with the international ban. The Turkish fisheries authority strongly supports the transition towards the usage of pelagic longlines as recommended by ICCAT and should supply technical support to the fishermen.
albacore, Thunnus alalunga, driftnet fishery, incidental catch, CPUE, eastern Mediterranean