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.
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.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

< 6 to ≥ 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

  • Ecuador mahi-mahi - longline:

    Stage 5, Progress Rating A

  • Guatemala mahi mahi:

    Stage 4, Progress Rating E

  • Panama yellowfin tuna and mahi-mahi:

    Stage 4, Progress Rating A

  • Peru mahi-mahi - longline (Confremar):

    Stage 4, Progress Rating D

  • Peru mahi-mahi - longline (WWF):

    Stage 4, Progress Rating A

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 7 April 2015

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.
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.
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

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.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica does not currently have any management plan in place for Mahi mahi. Costa Rica is a member of the the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), the regional fishery management organization in charge of tuna and tuna like species in the eastern Pacific Ocean. However, IATTC does not currently have any management measures in place for mahi mahi.

Ecuador

Last updated on 28 June 2018

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries (MAGAP) is the entity resposible for the management of the Ecuadorian fisheries.

There are not quotas for this stock. Reference points have not been set as the state of the stock has not been determined. At present there are no clear guidelines on the actions to be taken in case of decline of the stock (Trumble 2015).

At the national (Ecuadorian) level, the main regulations established to manage dolphinfish are:

  • Ministerial Agreement 023 of February 14th 2011 (MAGAP 2011) establishing the Dolphinfish National Plan of Action (NPOA) as an organizing tool for the conservation, management and eco-certification of dolphinfish (see objectives below).
  • Ministerial Agreement 055 of April 16th 2011 (MAGAP 2011), articles 1 and 2 of which establish the Dolphinfish Consultative Council " as an instrument for the public and private sectors to discuss matters related to dolphinfish, to support the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fishing in the formation of strategies and policies to strengthen the management, sustainable use, production and competitiveness of the dolphinfish value chain" (MAGAP-SRP 2013). The Council will review the progress of the NPOA on an annual basis.
  • Ministerial Agreement 070 of May 19th 2011 (MAGAP 2011), which establishes a total seasonal closure for the targeted dolphinfish fishery from July 1st to October 7th each year and ratifies a previously established minimum catch size of 80 cm total length for dolphinfish. During the ban season, however, up to 2% and 8% of dolphinfish caught as bycatch can be landed by industrial and artisanal fishing vessels, respectively.
  • Additional measures implemented by Ecuadorian authorities are the use of VMS, voluntary logbooks and a policy to change from J-hooks to circle hooks (Trumble 2015).

The Second edition of the NPOA for the Management and Conservation of Dolphinfish was published in 2013 and provides explicit short-term and long-term objectives for the Ecuadorian dolphinfish fishery. However, “it is not clear that the objectives for dolphinfish have been developed within the IATTC” (Trumble 2015). The Undersecretariat of Fishing Resources is the key institution responsible for the implementation of the NPOA. The specific objectives of the NPOA are:

  1. Establish regulation measures based on scientific evidence in order to improve management conservation of dolphinfish,
  2. Establish a control system which facilitates the traceability of the resource,
  3. Involve, train and raise awareness among the members of the community in matters related to the management and conservation of the resource,
  4. Generate scientific information that can inform management and
  5. Reduce bycatch of the fishery.
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 28 June 2018

At the national (Ecuadorian) level, the main regulations that affect the long-line fishery are:

  • Ministerial Agreement 407 of October 12th 2011 (MAGAP 2011), which define the characteristics of longline fishing vessels and sets a maximum of 10 smaller “fiberglass” type vessels to be towed by “mothership” vessels.
  • Ministerial Agreement 204 of December 29th 2011(MAGAP 2011), which establishes the Unified Observer Program for the Ecuadorian longline fleet for 10% of this fleet’s fishing trips.
  • Additional measures implemented by Ecuadorian authorities are the use of VMS, voluntary logbooks and a policy to change from J-hooks to circle hooks (Trumble 2015).

.

Panama

In Panama the Aquatic Resources Authority of Panama (ARAP) is in charge of fisheries management. Currently there are restrictions on longline fishing and this has lead to a decrease in overall effort. Longlines can only be fished with a hand roller (no mechanical aspects) and with no more than 800 hooks and vessels must be under 6 GRT in size (Executive Order No 486 of 2010) (Administrative Resolution of the ARAP No 125 of 2011). There are seasonal restrictions in the Gulf of Chiriqui and Gulf of Panama. The fishing season lasts from July to February. In the Gulf of Panama, the season lasts from April/May through November. There is no harvest strategy or target/limit reference points in place for mahi mahi {CeDePesca 2014}.

Panama is also a member of the Regional Fisheries Management Organization in the region, the Inter-American Tropial Tuan Commission (IATTC). However, IATTC has no measures in place for mahi mahi.

Peru

Neither Ecuador nor Peru has a management plan for mahi mahi. Fishing regulations are minimal and not enforced, and the fishery is poorly monitored and not assessed

Drifting longlines

Last updated on 15 July 2011

Neither Ecuador nor Peru has a management plan for mahi mahi. Fishing regulations are minimal and not enforced, and the fishery is poorly monitored and not assessed.

COMPLIANCE

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

Costa Rica

There are no catch limits or TAC for this fishery in Costa Rica or IATTC waters. There is scarcity of information on compliance aspects for this fishery in Costa Rican EEZ.

Lack of controls on fishing capacity in Central American countries (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Guatemala) have led to expansion of pelagic longlining by artisanal and industrial fleets beyond their EEZs leading to decline of Mahi mahi landings with an average decline of 300 tonnes per year in Costa Rica for the 2001-04 period (Ehrhardt and Fitchett 2006).

Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 April 2015

According to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, Costa Rica had noted compliance issues with providing catch data forvessels less than 24 m in length and has not provided information on their progress implementing the FAO turtle guidelines during 2012, but this was provided during 2013 {IATTC 2013}.There is no TAC in place for mahi mahi.

Ecuador

There are not set quotas for this stock in Ecuador. The magnitude of IUU fishing is unknown.

Since 2009 the number of enforcement agents has increased and enforcement has extended nationwide. They have the role of monitoring offloading from vessels, overseeing compliance of the closed seasons and minimum legal sizes, inspecting distributions centers and managing complaints (Trumble 2015).

Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 28 June 2018

There is no specific data on the degree of compliance of this fishery.

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 28 June 2018

There is no specific data on the degree of compliance of this fishery.

Drifting longlines

Last updated on 28 June 2018

The long-line fleet observer program covered 10-20% of the days of fishing in 2017 (last year with data) (MAP 2017), more than twice the level of coverage mandated under the IATTC (IATTC 2011)

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). 

Costa Rica
Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 27 December 2010

There are limited problems associated with pole and line fishing gear for interactions with protected, endangered and threatened species.

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 27 December 2010

There are limited problems associated with pole and line fishing gear for interactions with protected, endangered and threatened species.

Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 April 2015

By-catch has been quantified through the observer program since 1999, for the pelagic longline fleet targeting Mahi mahi in Costa Rican waters (Whoriskey et al., 2011).

There is problematic bycatch of turtles and marine mammals in this fishery. For example, for every 1000 hooks fished around 19 turtles are caught in Costa Rican waters (Swimmer et al., 2011). Bycatch data from the observer program (1999 to 2008) for the pelagic longline fleet targeting Mahi mahi reveals a high incidental catch and mortality of sea turtles. Bycatch rates are as follows: olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea; 9.05 per 1000 hooks), green turtle (Chelonia mydas; n = 49, mean = 0.35 per 1000 hooks), (Arauz 2002, 2004; Whoriskey et al., 2011). New modifications in the gears could avoid entanglement of turtles, which has been estimated as the mayor cause of by catch. Costa Rica has an executive decree in place that requires the use of circle hooks, to reduce sea turtle interactions, but there have historically been concerns with compliance. According to Costa Rica’s 2013 compliance report to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), they have implemented the FAO Guidelines for turtle, enhanced the implementation of sea turtle bycatch reduction measures, requires vessels to carry and use equipment to release incidentally captured sea turtle. However, Costa Rica has not complied with providing data on all sea turtle interactions in the fishery {IATTC 2013b}.

Hooks and lines

Last updated on 8 April 2015

These types of fisheries do not typically have interactions for PET species.

Ecuador

Last updated on 30 August 2018

Five species of sea turtles inhabit Ecuadorian waters: olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea; “vulnerable” according to IUCN), green (Chelonias mydas agassiz; “endangered”), loggerhear (Caretta caretta, “endangered”), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea, “critically endangered”) and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbrincata, “critically endangered”). Their conservation is managed through the National Plan for Sea Turtles of Ecuador (Ministerio del Ambiente del Ecuador 2014).

The dolphinfish fishery in Ecuador has some incidental catches and entanglements of marine turtles, but the rate of successful liberation is very high (MAGAP-SRP 2013). However, incorrect handling of animals within fishing vessels seems to be a cause of mortality (MAGAP-SRP 2013).

Retained sharks are managed through the National Plan of Action for Sharks (CONAPESCA-INP 2004). .

Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 3 August 2018

Specific information on the bycatch of ETP species in this fishery is not available but it is believed that the pole and line fishery doesn't impact ETP species such as sharks and sea turtles in Ecuador (INP 2014).  Other pole and line fisheries for which ETP interactions have been evaluated (e.g. Maldives) revealed almost negligible severe interactions with ETP species (Miller et al. 2016).

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 3 August 2018

Specific information on the bycatch of ETP species in this fishery is not available but it is believed that the pole and line fishery doesn't impact ETP species such as sharks and sea turtles in Ecuador (INP 2014). Other pole and line fisheries for which ETP interactions have been evaluated (e.g. Maldives) revealed almost negligible severe interactions with ETP species (Miller et al. 2016).

Drifting longlines

Last updated on 30 August 2018

A FIP progress report states that “direct and indirect effects of the (long-line) fishery are highly likely not hindering the recovery or cause unacceptable impacts for ETP species” (Trumble 2015)

According to Largacha et al (Largacha et al. 2005) the Olive Ridley Turtle is the turtle species that most frequently interacts with long-lines, especially when squid is used as bait. Barragan et al., (Barragán et al. 2003) estimated a CPUE of 4.8 ind/1000 hooks with C. mydas being the most captured species, followed by L. olivacea and E. imbrincata. According to an internal report of the MAGAP (Coello et al. 2010) the mortality rate of sea turtles between 2004 and 2008 was 0.005 and the species-specific mortality rates were as follows:

SpeciesCatch rateTotal catchMortality
E. imbrincata0.000194354918
D. coriacea0.0000325853
C. mydas0.0006791242362
L. olivacea0.0009381716286

Since 2004, a program aimed at minimizing the impact of the long-line fishery on turtle populations is running promoted by the Ecuadorian Government (MAGAP-SRP 2013). Ecuador has sine long implemented a policy to change from J-hooks to circle hooks (link), that includes reducing the import tariff of circle hooks (Seafood Watch 2013).

The last report of the European authorities to the IATTC (in the context of the long-line observers program) provided data on the amount of ETP species caught in 2017 (MAP 2017). Elasmobranchs represented 19% of the catch in number of individuals, being the blue shark (Prionace glauca; classified as "nearly threatened" by IUCN), the pelagic thresher (Alopias pelagicus; "vulnerable") and the silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis; "vulnerable") the three most abundant species. Sea turtles represented a negligible part of the catch (less than 0.1%) being the olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea; "vulnerable") the most abundant one. Almost all seaturtles were released alive. A small amount of blue marlin (Makaira nigricans, "vulnerable") was also reported in the catch.

Guatemala
Drifting longlines

According to Lewison et al. (Lewison et al. 2004), longline fishing has contributed significantly to the decline of leatherback and loggerhead sea turtle populations in the eastern Pacific. These two species are both classified as Critically Endangered and Endangered, respectively (IUCN 2018). Pelagic longline fisheries are widely regarded as one of the main sources of fishing mortality for turtles (Lewison and Crowder 2007). However, there is exceedingly little data available on sea turtle interactions with Guatemalan dolphinfish fisheries (Hunter 2013). According to CEDEPESCA (CEDEPESCA 2013), there are artisanal fleet reports regarding interactions between longlines and species like the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). The problem is that this information does not represent official statistical data.  No assessment of the impacts of this fishery on turtle populations has been conducted (Hunter 2013).

According to a research made by López (lopez 2005), the scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) represents 11% of the Guatemalan common dolphinfish bycatch in longline fisheries. There is no stock assessment for scalloped hammerhead in the Eastern Pacific, although this species is considered endangered (Kyne et al. 2012) .IUCN also considers scalloped hammerhead as an Endangered species and describes that fishing pressure due to pelagic longline fleets is high and a significant decline of this species has been documented. There is also concern over the fact that some catches in some areas are comprised entirely of juveniles. On the other hand, IUCN also says that the larger hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran) is assessed as Critically Endangered in this region from which it has apparently virtually disappeared. In Guatemala there is not enough information to establish and develop management measures for bycatch species.

CEDEPESCA (CEDEPESCA 2013) has described that there was an interaction recognized between the common dolphinfish fishery and seabirds species belonging to the genus Stercorarius. However, the impact on their stocks has not been thoroughly assessed. Mangel et al. (Mangel et al. 2013) mentioned that in Central America, surveys in Guatemala had shown that pink-footed shearwater (Puffinus creatopus) is caught incidentally.

Nicaragua
Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 10 August 2012

There is incidental mortality of many marine mammals such as sea turtles (leatherback and olive ridley), spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata), spinner dolphins (S. longirostris), and common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) in the pelagic fisheries off Eastern Pacific Ocean (FAO 2011). Other by-catch reported in Eastern Pacific Ocean longline fisheries include silky sharks and Oceanic whitetip sharks. A hook-exchange and observer program is in place in Nicaragua and other EPO countries to reduce bycatch of sea turtles (FAO 2011).

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 10 August 2012

There is incidental mortality of many marine mammals such as sea turtles (leatherback and olive ridley), spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata), spinner dolphins (S. longirostris), and common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) in the pelagic fisheries off Eastern Pacific Ocean (FAO 2011). Other by-catch reported in Eastern Pacific Ocean longline fisheries include silky sharks and Oceanic whitetip sharks. A hook-exchange and observer program is in place in Nicaragua and other EPO countries to reduce bycatch of sea turtles (FAO 2011).

Panama
Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 29 June 2012

Interactions of pole and line and Handline gear with PET species is not known in Panama waters off the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 29 June 2012

Interactions of pole and line and Handline gear with PET species is not known in Panama waters off the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Drifting longlines

Last updated on 3 July 2015

There is a general lack of information on bycatch in this fishery. The information that exists suggests this fishery tends to have a low number of impacts with sea turtles. This may be because sea turtles migratory season occurs after the mahi mahi fishing season and/or may be a reflection of the fact that small circle hooks are the most commonly used type of hook. Sea bird interactions have not been reported in this fishery (http://cedepesca.net/promes/tuna-and-large-pelagics/panama-pacific-mahi-mahi-and-yellowfin-tuna/).

Peru
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 15 July 2011

Turtles and some impact on seabirds are known as the bycatch of this fishery. New modifications in the gears could avoid entanglement of turtles, which has been estimated as the mayor cause of by catch.

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}.

Costa Rica
Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 23 November 2012

Such information is not available for pole and line vessels operating from Costa Rican waters.

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 23 November 2012

Such information is not available for pole and line vessels operating from Costa Rican waters.

Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 April 2015

There is problematic bycatch of sharks in this fishery. The expansion of fishing activities in the Costa Rican EEZ targeting large pelagics such as Mahi mahi, tunas and sharks have caused a decline in populations of sharks and sailfish along the coastline (Ehrhardt and Fitchett 2006).

Bycatch data from the observer program (1999 to 2008) for the pelagic longline fleet targeting Mahi mahi reveals a high incidental catch and mortality of sharks and sting rays. Bycatch rates are as follows: silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis; 2.96 per 1000 hooks), thresher sharks (Alopias sp.; mean = 1.12 per 1000 hooks), and pelagic sting rays mean = 4.77 per 1000 hooks (Arauz 2002, 2004; Whoriskey et al., 2011).

Costa Rica has implemented the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) management measure prohibiting the retention of oceanic whitetip sharks but has had poor success with providing data on any interactions with oceanic whitetip sharks. Costa Rica requires fins be naturally attached {IATTC 2013b}.

Hooks and lines

Last updated on 8 April 2015

These types of fisheries typically have low bycatch rates.

Ecuador

The dolphinfish fishery is highly selective with over 95% of the individuals caught belonging to the target species group (MAGAP-SRP 2013)(Trumble 2015).

Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 3 August 2018

There is no specific information on the bycatch of this fishery, but pole-and-line fisheries are widely considered to have little bycatch (Miller et al. 2017)

However, other pole and line fisheries in Ecuador (e.g. tuna) raised concern about the use of bait fish (mainly chuhueco Cetengraulis mysticetus and chumumo Anchoa spp.) as populations of small pelagic fish in Ecuador are unassessed and lack a management plan (IPNLF 2013).

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 3 August 2018

There is no specific information on the bycatch of this fishery, but pole-and-line fisheries are widely considered to have little bycatch (Miller et al. 2017)

However, other pole and line fisheries in Ecuador (e.g. tuna) raised concern about the use of bait fish (mainly chuhueco Cetengraulis mysticetus and chumumo Anchoa spp.) as populations of small pelagic fish in Ecuador are unassessed and lack a management plan (IPNLF 2013).

Drifting longlines

Last updated on 3 August 2018

The long-line fishery for large pelagics in Ecuador is a multispecific fishery. According to the last observer report from Ecuadorian authorities to the IATTC (MAP 2017), catch is composed by 79% of teleosts (in number of individuals), 19% of sharks and 0,07% of turtles. Besides mahi mahi (64%) the most abundant teleots fish species in 2017 were, according to the Ecuadorian Government, Xiphias gladius (26%), Thunnus obesus (3%), Kajikia audax (2%), Thunnus albacares (2%) and Makaira nigricans (2%).

Analysis from the fishery improvement project report stated that there is virtually no discards in this fishery. Pelagic rays are the most common discard and they are mostly released alive (Trumble 2015).

Panama
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 3 July 2015

Information on bycatch in this fishery is limited and the impact on sharks is still in need of study (http://cedepesca.net/promes/tuna-and-large-pelagics/panama-pacific-mahi-mahi-and-yellowfin-tuna/). Like other longline fisheries that target mahi mahi is is likely this fishery also catches other bony fish, tunas and sharks. Information that exists for the Panamanian mahi mahi fishery as a whole (including vessels outside of this FIP) indicates that striped bonito, vicuda, Pacific agujon needlefish are also caught in this fishery. Common shark species may include pelagic thresher sharks, scalloped hammerhead and small tail sharks {CeDePesca 2013}{CeDePesca 2014}.

Peru
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 15 July 2011

Sharks have been stated as a bycatch in this fishery by environmental organizations, but indeed the used line, with no steel at all, allows the sharks to escape, except some small animals without commercial interest, because of what are many times devolved alive to the sea.

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. 

Costa Rica

No spatial or temporal closures are in place to protect mahi mahi or other pelagic species, which are targeted by Costa rican longliners throughout the year (Whoriskey et al., 2011).

Ecuador

There is very detailed information on seafloor types (Terán, 2006) off Ecuador and most priority habitats such as coral reefs or mangrove swamps have been identified and mapped by the Ministry of the Environment and made available through the Environmental Interactive Map in 2015. There is no habitat management strategy for seafloor habitats in Ecuador, and management is limited to some opportunistic measures. For instance, the first mile from coast is closed to fishing to protect the reproduction of species and indirectly the bottom habitats. The first eight miles from coast are reserved for artisanal fishing and industrial activities are prohibited (MAP 1990). A network of 21 Coastal and Marine Natural Protected Areas (AMCPs) were created in 2017 (Ministerio del Ambiente del Ecuador 2017). The Ministry of Environment is the entity responsible for controlling  fisheries into these marine protected areas. However, it is expected that dolphinfish do not benefit from the existence of these marine reserves due to its highly migratory and pelagic nature.

The fishing gears used in this fishery do not contact the bottom and as such do not represent a thread or have any impact on benthic habitats.

Panama

The oceanic character of this species doesn´t allow any coping with marine reserves. The Pacífico Occidental de Panamá (POP) which includes the Gulf of Chiriqui covers an area of 1,380,293 ha and extends up to 200 m depth. The POP area has eight marine protected areas, with the largest of them being the Coiba National Park (Guzman et al., 2004; Vega et al., 2010).

ECOSYSTEM
Ecuador

Dolphinfish are considered to be a mid-trophic level species (Froese and Pauly 2017). The pelagic ecosystem in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean has been object of research and it is well described. Models have been developed to describe the ecosystem dynamics, structure and functioning (Olson and Watters 2003) but the impact of the dolphinfish fishery on the whole ecosystem has not been assessed.

The NPOA (MAGAP-SRP 2013) incorporates an ecosystem-based fishery management element. However, the NPOA does not include any specific management measure to maintain the structure and function of the ecosystem (MAGAP-SRP 2013).

Drifting longlines

Last updated on 30 August 2018

The observer program for the long line fishery plays, according to the NPOA, a fundamental role in assessing the possible ecosystem impact, and complements the work conducted by dockside inspectors who are tasked with overseeing compliance of seasonal closures and other measures

FishSource Scores

Last updated on 9 August 2018

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

Different components of this assessment unit score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

As calculated for 2016 data.

The score is < 6.

The management strategy is assessed to not be precautionary because the regional fisheries management organizations have not adopted any management measures, reference points or harvest control rules.

Different components of this assessment unit score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

As calculated for 2016 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

IATTC is beginning to assess mahi mahi in the eastern Pacific Ocean but there is currently no set TAC to measure compliance against.

As calculated for 2016 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

The stock is not managed through quotas or TACs, but catches have been declining in recent years.

STOCK HEALTH:

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.

Ecuador
  • ​Scores about management strategy and managers compliance to scientific advice are provided in a qualitative way as there is not enough information to provide quantitative scores.

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

SELECT FIP

Access FIP Public Report

Progress Rating: A
Evaluation Start Date: 31 May 2014
Type: Comprehensive

Comments:

FIP rating remains A for stage 4 progress over the past 12 months.

1.
FIP Development
Jul 15
2.
FIP Launch
Aug 16
May 14
3.
FIP Implementation
Aug 18
4.
Improvements in Fishing Practices and Fishery Management
May 18
5.
Improvements on the Water
Dec 15
6.
MSC certification (optional)
MSC certificate made public

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

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