Last updated on 8 September 2017

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Xiphias gladius

SPECIES NAME(s)

Swordfish

In the north Pacific Ocean there are two stocks of swordfish. The populations are separated by a diagonal boundary that runs from Baja California to the Equator (ISCBWG 2014). Within the eastern Pacific Ocean there are two stocks of swordfish: northeastern Pacific Ocean and southeastern Pacific Ocean (IATTC 2017). Within the north Pacific EPO region, swordfish are assessed as a stock from the area north of 100N and west of 1400(IATTC 2017).


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • The biomas of swordfish in the northeastern Pacific Ocean is healthy and fishing mortality rates are stable.
  • The biomass is not expected to decline at current fishing levels.
Weaknesses
  • There are no formally adopted target reference points or harvest control rules in place.
  • There is low observer coverage (5%) on longline vessels operating in the IATTC Convention Area.
  • There are issues with bycatch of sea turtles, sea birds, sharks and other fish species in longline fisheries.
  • Public information on complinace with IATTC management measures is not availalbe.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

< 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 6

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

10

Future Health:

≥ 8


RECOMMENDATIONS

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN
  • Work with IATTC Members and Cooperating Non-Members (CPCs) to:
    • Prioritize North Pacific swordfish in the Strategic Science Plan 2019-2023 and conduct a stock assessment and evaluate potential reference points during this period.
    • Support improved catch, effort, discard and biological data reporting at the national and IATTC level for target and bycatch species, including through measures such as electronic logbooks from all fleet segments of the fishery.
    • 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
Northeast Pacific IATTC China Longlines
Costa Rica Drifting longlines
Ecuador Drifting longlines
Korea, Republic of Hooks and lines
Mexico Drifting longlines
Nicaragua Drifting longlines
United States Buoy gear
Longlines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 17 August 2018

Strengths
  • The biomas of swordfish in the northeastern Pacific Ocean is healthy and fishing mortality rates are stable.
  • The biomass is not expected to decline at current fishing levels.
Weaknesses
  • There are no formally adopted target reference points or harvest control rules in place.
  • There is low observer coverage (5%) on longline vessels operating in the IATTC Convention Area.
  • There are issues with bycatch of sea turtles, sea birds, sharks and other fish species in longline fisheries.
  • Public information on complinace with IATTC management measures is not availalbe.
RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 6 August 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Work with IATTC Members and Cooperating Non-Members (CPCs) to:
    • Prioritize North Pacific swordfish in the Strategic Science Plan 2019-2023 and conduct a stock assessment and evaluate potential reference points during this period.
    • Support improved catch, effort, discard and biological data reporting at the national and IATTC level for target and bycatch species, including through measures such as electronic logbooks from all fleet segments of the fishery.
    • 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 17 August 2018

Information on the status of swordfish in the northeastern Pacific Ocean is updated in the annual Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission Fishery Status Report (IATTC 2017).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 17 August 2018

At current levels of fishing effort, there is little risk of the biomass falling below 40% of unfished levels (IATTC 2017).

Reference Points

Parameter          Value

B/BMSY            > 1.50 

F/FMSY             <1

(IATTC 2017)

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 18 July 2018

North Pacific stock of swordfish is currently not overfished and overfishing is not occurring. The biomass of swordfish in the northeastern Pacific Ocean was estimated to be more than 50% of unexploited levels during the first stock assessment (IATTC 2017).

Trends

 

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 17 August 2018

There are no management measures in place for swordfish in the northwest Pacific under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission or Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission.

Recovery Plans

There is no recovery plan in place for swordfish in the northeast Pacifi but their population is currently considered to be healthy (IATTC 2017).

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 1 August 2012

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), and Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, which manage swordfish in the northeast Pacific, has adopted some compliance monitoring and enforcement measures but the success of these measures is often difficult to determine.

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 1 August 2012

Several species of protected sea turtles are encountered in the south Pacific longline fishery that captures swordfish.

Other Species

Last updated on 1 August 2012

Several species of tunas, sharks, billfish and other fish are caught as bycatch species in the northeast Pacific swordfish longline fishery.

HABITAT

Last updated on 1 August 2012

The impact of pelagic longlines on bottom habitats is minimal.

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 01 Aug 2012

There are no marine reserves for the swordfish longline fishery in the northeast Pacific Ocean.

FishSource Scores

Last updated on 17 September 2018

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is < 6.

There is no specific target fishing mortality rate (or equivalent) set

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

The stock is NOT managed through quotas or TACs but current fishing mortality rates are considered sustainable

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Total estimated catch, including estimates for non-reported landings, are below an advised catch levels issued by the scientific body conducting the stock

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2016 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the Ratio SSB/SSBmsy as a percentage of the SSBmsy.

The Ratio SSB/SSBmsy is 1.50 . The SSBmsy is 1.00 ('000 t) .

The underlying Ratio SSB/SSBmsy/SSBmsy for this index is 150%.

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

The scientific body conducting stock assessments notes that recent catch levels do not constitute a problem for stock condition.

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.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.
DATA NOTES

Scores 1, 2, 3, and 4 and 5 were qualitatively assessed due to a lack of information. 

Download Source Data

Registered users can download the original data file for calculating the scores after logging in. If you wish, you can Register now.

Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits

BILL-WG. 2008 Report of the billfish working group special session. International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean. 12-14
November 2008, Pacific Islands Regional Office, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. ISC/08/BILLWG-SS/Report.
=
BILL-WG. 2009a. Report of the billfish working group workshop, International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean. 3-10
February 2009. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. ISC/09/BILLWG-1/Report.

BILL-WG. 2009b. Report of the billfish working group workshop, International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean.19-26
May 2009. Busan, Korea, USA. ISC/09/BILLWG-2/Report.

BILL-WG. 2009c. Report of the billfish working group workshop, International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean. 30 November – 4 December 2009. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. ISC/09/BILLWG-3/Report.

Courtney, D. L., and K. Piner. 2009. Preliminary age structured stock assessment of North Pacific swordfish (Xiphias gladius) with Stock Synthesis under two stock scenario. International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-Like Species in the North Pacific/Billfish, ISC/09/BILLWG-3/07.

Ichinokawa, M., and J. Brodziak. 2008. Stock boundary between possible swordfish stocks in the northwest and southeast Pacific judged from fisheries data of Japanese longliners. International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-Like Species in the North Pacific/Billfish, ISC/08/BILLWG-2.5/04.

ISC. 2010. Report of the Tenth Meeting of the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean. Plenary Session. 21-26 July 2010, Victoria, B.C., Canada. International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean.

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Appended content

References

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