Last updated on 18 February 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Coryphaena hippurus

SPECIES NAME(s)

Common dolphinfish, Mahi-mahi

The stock structure of the species is not truly known at a global scale.  Díaz-Jaimes et al. (2010) studied the inter-oceanic divergence of Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Mediterranean populations but the genetic differentiation is not conclusive. The population structure in the eastern Pacific Ocean is unclear (IATTC 2014). Here, the separation of the Eastern Pacific and the Western Central Pacific stocks is based in the genetic heterogeneity found in the Pacific Ocean by Rocha-Olivares et al (2006) and due to differences in fisheries and management.


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • Mahi mahi are fast growing and tend to be resilient to fishing pressure.
  • The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) has started a collaborative research plan for mahi mahi in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO).
  • Some information on catch rate trends for mahi mahi in the EPO is available.
  • The IATTC has conducted a stock assessment and Management Strategy Evaluation on mahi mahi in the EPO
  • The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) has started a collaborative research plan for mahi mahi in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) and conducted a preliminary stock assessment.
  • Governments have developed measures in order to fight the IUU in this area.
  • There is some information about landings and catch rate trends available for this country.
Weaknesses
  • There are few to no management regulations at international or national levels.
  • There are no reference points in place so the status of mahi mahi in the EPO is currently unknown.
  • Longlines, which are used to target mahi mahi in the EPO, can have negative interactions with protected, endangered, or threatened (PET) species and information on these interactions and their impacts is limited.
  • IATTC requires only 5% observer coverage in the longline fleet. Mahi mahi are also incidentally captured in purse seine fisheries operating in EPO.
  • There is no management plan set at the national or international level for common dolphinfish
  • There are no reference points in place to evaluate the status of common dolphinfish in the area
  • Extensive and reliable information are needed to condcut a comprehensive stock assessment of common dolphinfish in the area
  • The fishing gear used (longlines) interacts with some Endangered, Threatened and Protected (ETP) species and information on interactions is lacking
  • More information regarding bycatch and juveniles should be taken from artisanal and medium-sized fleet.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

< 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6

Fishers Compliance:

< 6

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

NOT YET SCORED

Future Health:

NOT YET SCORED


RECOMMENDATIONS

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN
  • Work with IATTC Members and Cooperating Non-Members (CPCs) to: 
    • Immediately adopt formal limit and target reference points and develop a harvest control rule.
    • Support continued work towards a full stock assessment of mahi mahi in the eastern Pacific Ocean including improved catch, effort, discard and biological data reporting for the target species at the national and IATTC level, including through measures such as electronic logbooks from all fleet segments of the fishery and for the fishery north of the equator.
    • Support continuation of improved catch, effort, and biological data reporting for bycatch species at the national and IATTC level, including through measures such as electronic logbooks from all fleet segments of the fishery and for the fishery north of the equator.
    • Strengthen compliance processes and make information on non-compliance public and continue to provide evidence of compliance with all IATTC Conservation and Management Measures in a timely manner.
    • Increase compliance with the mandatory minimum 5% longline observer coverage rates by identifying and correcting non-compliance. Aim to increase longline observer coverage rates to a minimum of 20% within 5 years and with a long-term goal of 100% (which could include electronic and human observers) on vessels greater than 20 meters length.
  • Identify and mandate the use of best practice bycatch mitigation techniques such as those outlined in the Best Practices in Tuna Longline Fisheries Report
  • Ensure all products are traceable back to legal sources. Verify source information and full chain traceability through traceability desk audits or third party traceability certification. For fisheries without robust traceability systems in place, invest in meaningful improvements to bring the fisheries and supply chain in compliance with best practices.

FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Eastern Pacific Ocean IATTC Costa Rica Drifting longlines
Hooks and lines
Mechanized lines
Pole-lines hand operated
Ecuador Drifting longlines
Mechanized lines
Pole-lines hand operated
Guatemala Drifting longlines
Nicaragua Drifting longlines
Mechanized lines
Pole-lines hand operated
Panama Drifting longlines
Longlines
Mechanized lines
Pole-lines hand operated
Peru Drifting longlines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 18 January 2019

Strengths
  • Mahi mahi are fast growing and tend to be resilient to fishing pressure.
  • The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) has started a collaborative research plan for mahi mahi in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO).
  • Some information on catch rate trends for mahi mahi in the EPO is available.
  • The IATTC has conducted a stock assessment and Management Strategy Evaluation on mahi mahi in the EPO
IATTC
Nicaragua

Last updated on 8 January 2019

  • The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) has started a collaborative research plan for mahi mahi in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) and conducted a preliminary stock assessment.
  • Governments have developed measures in order to fight the IUU in this area.
  • There is some information about landings and catch rate trends available for this country.
Weaknesses
  • There are few to no management regulations at international or national levels.
  • There are no reference points in place so the status of mahi mahi in the EPO is currently unknown.
  • Longlines, which are used to target mahi mahi in the EPO, can have negative interactions with protected, endangered, or threatened (PET) species and information on these interactions and their impacts is limited.
  • IATTC requires only 5% observer coverage in the longline fleet. Mahi mahi are also incidentally captured in purse seine fisheries operating in EPO.
IATTC
Nicaragua
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

  • There is no management plan set at the national or international level for common dolphinfish
  • There are no reference points in place to evaluate the status of common dolphinfish in the area
  • Extensive and reliable information are needed to condcut a comprehensive stock assessment of common dolphinfish in the area
  • The fishing gear used (longlines) interacts with some Endangered, Threatened and Protected (ETP) species and information on interactions is lacking
  • More information regarding bycatch and juveniles should be taken from artisanal and medium-sized fleet.
RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 16 October 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Work with IATTC Members and Cooperating Non-Members (CPCs) to: 
    • Immediately adopt formal limit and target reference points and develop a harvest control rule.
    • Support continued work towards a full stock assessment of mahi mahi in the eastern Pacific Ocean including improved catch, effort, discard and biological data reporting for the target species at the national and IATTC level, including through measures such as electronic logbooks from all fleet segments of the fishery and for the fishery north of the equator.
    • Support continuation of improved catch, effort, and biological data reporting for bycatch species at the national and IATTC level, including through measures such as electronic logbooks from all fleet segments of the fishery and for the fishery north of the equator.
    • Strengthen compliance processes and make information on non-compliance public and continue to provide evidence of compliance with all IATTC Conservation and Management Measures in a timely manner.
    • Increase compliance with the mandatory minimum 5% longline observer coverage rates by identifying and correcting non-compliance. Aim to increase longline observer coverage rates to a minimum of 20% within 5 years and with a long-term goal of 100% (which could include electronic and human observers) on vessels greater than 20 meters length.
  • Identify and mandate the use of best practice bycatch mitigation techniques such as those outlined in the Best Practices in Tuna Longline Fisheries Report
  • Ensure all products are traceable back to legal sources. Verify source information and full chain traceability through traceability desk audits or third party traceability certification. For fisheries without robust traceability systems in place, invest in meaningful improvements to bring the fisheries and supply chain in compliance with best practices.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 6 July 2018

The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) conducted an exploratory stock assessment of mahi mahi in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in 2016 (Aires-da-Silva et al. 2016). The assessment was conducted using the Stock Synthesis model. The model assumed monthly time steps between 2007 and 2014 and included length specific information and catch data from Peru and Ecuador and catch rate series from Ecuador (Aires-da-Silva et al. 2016).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 6 July 2018

The status of mahi mahi in the eastern Pacific Ocean is uncertain because there are no reference points in place to assess the current biomass and fishing mortality rates against sustainable levels (Aires-da-Silva et al. 2016). Scientific advice related to management has not been provided.

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 6 July 2018

The current status of mahi mahi in the eastern Pacific Ocean is uncertain because reference points are not in place to assess the current biomass and fishing mortality rates against. There are yearly fluctuations in biomass of mahi mahi in the south eastern Pacific Ocean. Peaks in biomass are typically seen in fall and winter, declining to lower levels during May and June. Overall, the biomass of mahi mahi has remained stable during the modeled time period (2007-2014). Recruitment shows inter-annual variability. Fishing mortality estimates ranged from 0.53 to 0.85 between 2007 and 2014 (Aires-da-Silva et al. 2016).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT
IATTC

There are curretly no management measures in place for mahi mahi in the eastern Pacific Ocean through the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC). The status of mahi mahi is unknown in the eastern Pacific Ocean and therefore it is unknown if any recovery plans are needed. No recovery plans are in place.

Nicaragua

Last updated on 8 January 2019

The Instituto Nicaragüense de Pesca y Acuicultura (INPESCA) has no specific measures in place to organize and regulate the common dolphinfish fishery in Nicaragua. However, common dolphinfish does appear in the official annual statistics reported by INPESCA (where its catch and landings data are reported), principally from the artisanal fleet.

There is no total allowable capture in this fishery.

Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

The Nicaraguan government has developed the Norma Técnica Obligatoria Nicaragüense de Artes y Métodos de Pesca (NTON 2008), which explains some characteristics about permitted longlines, but there is a lack of technical and specific measures. Some measures exist that are aimed at monitoring for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. In Nicaragua, the Executive Resolution PA No 007-2008, allows for a satellite tracking system to control the Nicaraguan Industrial fleet.

Recovery Plan

Nicaragua has not yet developed a specific recovery plan for common dolphinfish due to a lack of knowledge about this resources condition.

COMPLIANCE
IATTC

There are no catch limits, quotas etc and no management measure to determine compliance with.

Nicaragua

Last updated on 8 January 2019

There are no known resources aimed at revealing the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and discards affecting the common dolphinfish fishery. Due to TACs non-existence, it is not possible to compare against official landings statistics. Official common dolphinfish landings was 826,542 pounds in 2015 (INPESCA 2016).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 7 April 2015

The longline fisheries operating in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) that capture mahi mahi likely have incidental interactions with sea turtles.

Green, hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead and olive ridley sea turtles have been reported as incidentally captured in longline fisheries operating in the EPO. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies green, leatherback and loggerhead turtles as Endangered, hawksbill as Critically Endangered, and olive ridley as Vulnerable (www.iucn.org).

Marine mammal interactions are not common bycatch species in this fishery.

Several species of seabirds, including black-footed, laysan and waved albatross. Black-footed, laysan albatross are considered Near Threatened by the IUCN and waved albatross as Critically Endangered and may also be incidentally captured.

The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) has put several management measures aimed at bycatch species into place. IATTC member countries are to implement an International Plan of Action for Seabirds. Two seabird mitigation methods are required on vessels larger than 20 m fishing in specific areas. A 3 year program to reduce the impact of fishing on sea turtles has been put into place. This plan requires reporting of any interaction and carrying of proper handling and release gears. Shark finning is banned (5% rule) and oceanic whitetip sharks are prohibited from being retained (IATTC 2011b)(IATTC 2011c)(IATTC 2005)(IAC 2012). 

IATTC
Nicaragua
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

Sea turtles interact with common dolphinfish longline fisheries in the eastern Pacific (Hunter 2013). There are 4 main species observed in this area, all of them catalogued as ETP species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN 2018): green (endangered), loggerhead (endangered), leatherback (critically endangered) and hawksbill (critically endangered). Cortés-Nuñez et al., (2012) (Cortés-Nuñez, C. Sánchez-Noguera et al. 2012) indicated that four species of sea turtles, green sea turtle, leatherback and Hawksbill inhabit Nicaraguan waters for feeding and reproduction. According to Ivanova (2001) (Ivanova 2001), hawksbill are usually common in this area. There are some measures registered to protect hawksbill turtles. Ivanova (2001) (Ivanova 2001) also cited the Ministerial Resolution No 007-99 which establishes Hawksbill fishery in a state of "permanent closure".

 

The common dolphinfish fishery in Nicaragua interacts with populations of scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini) (Endangered, IUCN), known as bolillo by the fishermen in the Pacific Ocean area. This species is also considered a target species and there is official statistic landing in the official bulletins made by INPESCA.

 

There are no official statistics found on sea turtles bycatch composition. A remarkable amount of seabirds species considered as near threatened could be affected by this fishery, however official information is scarce. There are no official references found on bycatch of sea birds.

Other Species

Last updated on 7 April 2015

Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) longlines fisheries that capture mahi mahi tuna also likely capture a number of other species of fish, including billfish and other tuna species, and sharks.

Other common bycatch species in the longline fishery include blue and silky sharks, indo-Pacific sailfish, tuna and swordfish. Blue shark populations are currently healthy in the north Pacific region of the EPO but populations in the south Pacific appear to be in much worse condition. The current status of silky sharks, despite an assessment being conducted, is unknown in this region. The status of indo-Pacific sailfish is also uncertain. Swordfish populations are healthy in both the northern and southern region of the EPO {IATTC 2014b}.

IATTC
Nicaragua
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

There is no accurate or statistical information about bycatch in the Nicaraguan common dolphinfish fishery. It could be assumed that the pattern of species is similar to the other countries in the region because of the environment, weather and oceanographic parameters. The established management measures by Nicaraguan government for bycatch species, mainly sharks, are the ones settled in the Norma Técnica Obligatoria Nicaragüense (NTON 03 045-08, 2008). All of them relate to the appropriate fishing gear design and technology. The species considered are sharks like silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis), blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus), pelagic thresher (Alopias pelagicus), scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) and nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum). This framework also includes tuna.

Through the Environmental and Natural Resources Ministry of Nicaragua, there are temporal closed areas established for tuna species like yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna and skipjack tuna. There are no closed areas specific to shark species in Nicaragua.

There is no registered method for assessing bycatch. Whereas dolphinfish represented 8% of total fish catch (INPESCA 2016), it mainly was represented by the artisanal fleet, which generally is characterized by a lack of accuracy in its catch composition.

HABITAT

Last updated on 28 February 2013

Pelagic gear used to target dolphinfish does not come in contact with sea floor and has nominal effects on coastal and marine habitats. 

IATTC
Nicaragua

Last updated on 8 January 2019

Unlike countries in the same region as Guatemala, common dolphinfish fishing area identification has not been made. There is likely to be minimal damage to the habitat due to the nature of the fishing methods and the fishing grounds used by the fishery. Nicaraguan Law recognizes two types of fishing gear for common dolphinfish, one is called superficial longline (palangre superficial de deriva, in Spanish) and the other is called vertical longlines.

Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

Longlines consist in a monofilament which varies between 10 and 120 kilometers with hooks settled, horizontally, from every 20 to 50 meters. Common dolphinfish longlines do not have contact with the sea bottom and are set slightly below the surface. Its effects on marine and coastal habitats are not significant.

ECOSYSTEM
IATTC
Nicaragua
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

Longlines impact on the ecosystem could be materialized through its potential damage on vulnerable species like turtles or sea birds. Nevertheless, accurate and reliable information about these potential interactions are not available through statistical nor academic investigations.

FishSource Scores

Last updated on 9 January 2019

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is < 6.

The common dolphinfish status in Nicaragua is unknown. There are no strategies settled for management nor visible objectives.

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

There are no visible official measures directed to set forth measures for management or a visible scientific or administrative body implementing arrangements

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is < 6.

There are statistics about incidental catch but yet real IUU magnitude is not accuracy.

STOCK HEALTH:

ECOSYSTEM IMPACTS

Click on the score to see subscore

Click on the score to see subscore

Click on the score to see subscore

×

Bycatch Subscores

There is no reliable enough information to assess impact.

This fishery interacts with ETP species, however more studies and surveillance is needed.

Sharks are highly vulnerable but the current fishing effort seems not to damage its population.

There are some measures registered to protect hawksbill turtles. Ivanova (2001) (Ivanova 2001) also cited the Ministerial Resolution No 007-99 which establishes Hawksbill fishery in a state of "permanent closure".

×

Habitat Subscores

As longlines surface are not in contact with the sea bottom, impacts seem to be minimal

There are no studies or information regarding specific habitat identification

As longlines are set in the surface, impacts in the habitat are minimal

Shallow measures have been settled for management dolphinfish fishery and its impact.

×

Ecosystem Subscores

There is no reliable information to allow for assessment of the impacts of the fishery on ecosystem structure and processes

There is no specific information regarding dolphinfish importance in the Nicaraguan ecosystem.

To see data for biomass, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for fishing mortality, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for stock status
No data available for stock status
DATA NOTES

Scores 1-5 were scored qualitatively because there are no set TAC's and no reference points in place.

Download Source Data

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits

Collette, B., Acero, A., Amorim, A.F., Boustany, A., Canales Ramirez, C., Cardenas, G., Carpenter, K.E., de Oliveira Leite Jr., N., Di Natale, A., Fox, W., Fredou, F.L., Graves, J., Viera Hazin, F.H., Juan Jorda, M., Minte Vera, C., Miyabe, N., Montano Cruz, R., Nelson, R., Oxenford, H., Schaefer, K., Serra, R., Sun, C., Teixeira Lessa, R.P., Pires Ferreira Travassos, P.E., Uozumi, Y. & Yanez, E. 2011. Coryphaena hippurus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1.

IATTC. 2014a. Preliminary results from IATTC collaborative research activities on dorado in the EPO and future research plan. Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission Document SAC-05-aab. http://www.iattc.org/Meetings/Meetings2014/MAYSAC/PDFs/presentations/SAC-05-11b-Dorado.pdf

IATTC. 2014b. Fishery status report No. 12. Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. http://www.iattc.org/PDFFiles2/FisheryStatusReports/FisheryStatusReport12.pdf

  1. IATTC. 2012. Fishery Status Report No. 10, Tunas and Billfishes in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in 2011, IATTC, La Jolla, California, 2012, 166 pages.http://www.iattc.org/PDFFiles2/FisheryStatusReports/FisheryStatusReport10ENG.pdf
  2. Patterson, K. R., and J. Martinez. 1991. Exploitation of the dolphin-fish Coryphaena hippurus L. off Ecuador: analysis by length-based virtual population analysis. Fishbyte 9: 21-23.http://www.worldcat.org/title/fishbyte-newsletter-of-the-network-of-tropical-fisheries-scientists/oclc/22920190
  1. FAO. 2004. Republic of Costa Rica, Fishery Country Profile, FAO of the United Nations, April 2004..http://www.fao.org/fi/oldsite/FCP/en/CRI/profile.htm
  1. FAO. 2006. Perfiles sobre la pesca y la acuicultura por países. Nicaragua. Perfiles sobre la pesca y la acuicultura por países. In: Departamento de Pesca y Acuicultura de la FAO [en línea]. Rome.http://www.fao.org/fishery/countrysector/FI-CP_NI/es
  2. IATTC. 2004. IATTC Resolution C-04-07 on a three year program to mitigate the impact of tuna fishing on Sea turtles, 72nd meeting, Lima, Peru, 14-18 June 2004, IATTC, 2 pages.http://www.iattc.org/PDFFiles2/Resolutions/C-04-07-Sea-turtle-program.pdf
  3. IATTC. 2006. Resolution C-04-05 – Consolidated Resolution on Bycatch, 74th Meeting, 26-30 June 2006, IATTC, 3 pages.http://www.iattc.org/PDFFiles2/Resolutions/C-04-05-REV-2-Bycatch-Jun-2006.pdf
References

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    Common dolphinfish - Eastern Pacific Ocean, IATTC, Nicaragua, Drifting longlines

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