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 to ≥ 8

Fishers Compliance:

< 6 to ≥ 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 B

  • Peru mahi-mahi - longline (Confremar):

    Stage 4, Progress Rating E

  • 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 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
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).

.

Guatemala
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

The only regulation for common dolphinfish in Guatemala is provided by the Dirección de Normatividad de la Pesca y Acuicultura (DIPESCA) in the Reglamento de la Ley General de Pesca y Acuicultura (Regulation of the Fishing and Aquaculture law, in English), in articles 27, 28, 29 and 30. First, Article 27 sets target family species: Coryphaenidae, Alopiidae, Carcharhinidae, Ginglymostomatidae, Lamnidae, Sphyrnidae and Triakidae, and considers all of them part of the same fishery; sharing common fishing zones and the same fishing gear. Article 28 says this fishery takes place in the Pacific Ocean, from 20 nautical miles onwards. On the other hand, article 29 describes the type of fishing vessels and some fishing gear characteristics associated with this fishery. It defines two types of vessels: small size vessels equipped with long-lines with a maximum of 1000 hooks and medium sized vessels, equipped with no more than 2000 hooks. Also indicated in both cases, hooks cannot be bigger than 1.5 inches. Finally, Article 30 established that bycatch cannot be more than 5% of the total catch expressed in the total number of individuals (Acuerdo Gubernativo 2005).

                                                                                                    

There is no total allowable capture in this fishery.

Recovery Plan

Currently, there is no recovery plan in place for the common dolphinfish in Guatemala, mainly due to the lack of knowledge related to the stock exploitation level.

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.

Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 8 January 2019

No information on management specific to vertical lines is provided in Nicaragua.

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

No information on management specific to vertical lines is provided in Nicaragua.

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.

Panama

Last updated on 8 January 2019

Although there is no management plan set for common dolphinfish, the ARAP have developed the Plan de Acción para la Pesca Sostenible (Plan of action for sustainable fisheries, in English) for Panama (Gaceta Oficial 2016). This plan is organized into 4 actions: (1) Institutional strengthening, (2) Productivity and competitive optimization, (3) Responsible and sustainable fishing, and (4) Integral control and management. The main objective is the sustainable use of the aquatic resources, with an ecosystem approach and transparent management, coherent, equitable, and participative that guarantees the social and economic wellness of the fishing sector.

There is no total allowable capture in this fishery.

Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 8 January 2019

No information on management specific to vertical lines is provided in Panama.

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

No information on management specific to vertical lines is provided in Panama.

Longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

There are no explicit management plans for common dolphinfish in Panama set by the Autoridad de los Recursos Acuáticos de Panamá (Authority of the aquatic resources of Panama, ARAP); the institute in charge of marine resources management in Panama. However, some measures have been set to control fishing effort in general. First, the exclusiveness of using longlines (superficial, midwater and bottom) for vessels with gross register tonnage (GRT) less than 6 tones (artisanal fishery)(MIDA 2010). Secondly, the legislation for the artisanal longline fishery (vessels with GRT < 6 tones) focused on limiting the number of hooks allowed per longline (up to 600) and the system of operation (ARAP 2011).

Although there is no management plan set for common dolphinfish, the ARAP have developed the Plan de Acción para la Pesca Sostenible (Plan of action for sustainable fisheries, in English) for Panama (Caceta Oficial 2016). This plan is organized into 4 actions: (1) Institutional strengthening, (2) Productivity and competitive optimization, (3) Responsible and sustainable fishing, and (4) Integral control and management. The main objective is the sustainable use of the aquatic resources, with an ecosystem approach and transparent management, coherent, equitable, and participative that guarantees the social and economic wellness of the fishing sector.

The only regulation set for common dolphinfish is the annual closure of its fishery from August 15th to October 15th. During this time, it is prohibited to use hooks smaller than 16/0 or mainline smaller than 12.6 meters (MIDA 2017). Nevertheless, there is constant need for implementing a monitoring program in the common dolphinfish fishery for the sustainable management of this important resource (Lasso and Zapata 1999).

Recovery Plan

No recovery plan is yet set for common dolphinfish in Panamanian waters since the population of the common dolphinfish in unknown.

Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

There are no explicit management plans for common dolphinfish in Panama set by the Autoridad de los Recursos Acuáticos de Panamá (Authority of the aquatic resources of Panama, ARAP); the institute in charge of marine resources management in Panama. However, some measures have been set to control fishing effort in general. First, the exclusiveness of using longlines (superficial, midwater and bottom) for vessels with gross register tonnage (GRT) less than 6 tones (artisanal fishery)(MIDA 2010). Secondly, the legislation for the artisanal longline fishery (vessels with GRT < 6 tones) focused on limiting the number of hooks allowed per longline (up to 600) and the system of operation (ARAP 2011).

Although there is no management plan set for common dolphinfish, the ARAP have developed the Plan de Acción para la Pesca Sostenible (Plan of action for sustainable fisheries, in English) for Panama (Caceta Oficial 2016). This plan is organized into 4 actions: (1) Institutional strengthening, (2) Productivity and competitive optimization, (3) Responsible and sustainable fishing, and (4) Integral control and management. The main objective is the sustainable use of the aquatic resources, with an ecosystem approach and transparent management, coherent, equitable, and participative that guarantees the social and economic wellness of the fishing sector.

The only regulation set for common dolphinfish is the annual closure of its fishery from August 15th to October 15th. During this time, it is prohibited to use hooks smaller than 16/0 or mainline smaller than 12.6 meters  (MIDA, 2017). Nevertheless, there is constant need for implementing a monitoring program in the common dolphinfish fishery for the sustainable management of this important resource (Lasso and Zapata 1999).

Recovery Plan

No recovery plan is yet set for common dolphinfish in Panamanian waters since the population of the common dolphinfish in unknown.

Peru
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

In 2016, the “Plan de Acción Nacional para la conservación y manejo del recurso perico en el Perú” (National action plan for the conservation and management of the common dolphinfish in Peru, PAN Perico-Perú) was established by the Ministerio de la Producción (Ministry of Production, PRODUCE), following the recommendations issued by IMARPE. The main objective of the plan is to promote the conservation and the management of the common dolphinfish in jurisdictional and adjacent waters off Peru, and maintain its sustainable use in the long term. Therefore, some of the aspects the national plan covers are: (1) to promote biological, ecological and fisheries research; (2) to design and implement a monitoring system of the common dolphinfish supply chain; (3) to enhance the regulation framework related to the common dolphinfish; (4) to reduce the bycatch of common dolphinfish in non-target fisheries; (5) to contribute to the protection of the biological diversity, structure and function of the ecosystem; (6) to identify and evaluate threats to the common dolphinfish population and its habitats; and (7) to develop educational programs (PRODUCE 2016). In this national plan it is also suggested that a unique database (including fisheries and trading information) for the first semester (January-June) of 2018 be developed. For the second semester (July-December) it is projected that the development of one national Fishing Ordinance Regulation will occur (ROP, in Spanish).

It is important to mention that even though there is no Regional Plan of Action for common dolphinfish in Peru, there are two important regulations that contribute to its sustainable exploitation. First, there is a fishing season from October 1stto April 30th, every year. Hence, captures are strictly prohibited from May 1stto September 30th. However, it is noted that closure periods could still be modified according to IMARPE (PRODUCE 2014). Secondly, the common dolphinfish has a minimum catch size of 70 centimeters (considered juveniles) fork length with a tolerance of 10 % juvenile captured per vessel (PRODUCE 2011).

Recovery Plan

No recovery plans are yet set for common dolphinfish in Peruvian waters since the population of the common dolphinfish in under study and not currently known (PRODUCE 2016).

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)

Guatemala

Last updated on 8 January 2019

There are no available statistics regarding illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and discards in the common dolphinfish fishery. However, there are quantifications regarding the incidental catch of common dolphinfish, which in 2016, was much larger than the targeted dolphinfish catch levels (MAGA 2016). There is a current initiative from the Guatemalan and other regional governments, to establish and develop a monitoring and surveillance center aimed at, among other things, fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU)  fishing. This is called Centro de Seguimiento y Control Satelital de Embarcaciones Pesqueras (CSCS), which is under MAGA's management.

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).

Panama

Last updated on 8 January 2019

Reporting’s on common dolphinfish landings have recently been started in Panama. The average landings of common dolphinfish are about 404 tonnes per year (FAO 2018). Since no TACs are officially set, no comparisons to total landings are possible.

Peru

Last updated on 8 January 2019

Common dolphinfish landings have surpassed 40,000 tonnes annually over the last 10 years (FAO 2018). However, since there are no TACs in place, no comparisons to landings are possible. Although, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing fishing of dolphinfish have not been assessed in Peru, it is stated that the dolphinfish fishery is poorly regulated with a high level of informality along the supply chain. In addition, the scarcity of control or appropriate follow-up to the extractive activity encourages the entry of informal or illegal seafood into formal and legal channel of the supply chain (Amoros et al. 2017).

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

Last updated on 8 January 2019

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 8 January 2019

No information regarding bycatch in vertical lines fisheries is provided in Nicaragua. 

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

No information regarding bycatch in vertical lines fisheries is provided in 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.

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.

Longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

Longlines are recognized fishing gears with incidental turtle and shark catches. Circular hooks (number 13) are the most popular type of hook used to target common dolphinfish in Panama. Turtle mortality from this fishery has been low, maybe due to the fact that the common dolphinfish season starts before the migratory season of turtles (CEDEPESCA 2013).

 

Pacheco (2013) (Pacheco 2013) recorded that 4 species of turtles: green (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) are bycaught in longlines targeting dolphinfish in Panama, species that are classified as endangered, critically endangered, critically endangered, and vulnerable by the IUCN, respectively (IUCN 2018).. Pacheco (2013) (Pacheco 2013) reported that the most captured species is the olive ridley. Nevertheless, it is also reported that the negative impact of this fishery is low due to the fact that 98% of total turtles bycaught are captured alive (Pacheco 2013). In addition, the amount of hooked green turtles (Chelonia mydas) is statistically lower when using smaller hooks (Type C, number 13) (Pacheco 2013).

 

Interactions with seabirds are considered insignificant in this fishery. Pacheco (2013) (Pacheco 2013) recorded one bird bycaught.

Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

Longlines are recognized fishing gears with incidental turtle and shark catches. Circular hooks (number 13) are the most popular type of hook used to target common dolphinfish in Panama. Turtle mortality from this fishery has been low, maybe due to the fact that the common dolphinfish season starts before the migratory season of turtles (CEDEPESCA 2013).

 

Pacheco (2013) (Pacheco 2013) recorded that 4 species of turtles: green (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) are bycaught in longlines targeting dolphinfish in Panama, species that are classified as endangered, critically endangered, critically endangered, and vulnerable by the IUCN, respectively (IUCN 2018). Pacheco (2013) (Pacheco 2013) reported that the most captured species is the olive ridley. Nevertheless, it is also reported that the negative impact of this fishery is low due to the fact that 98% of total turtles bycaught are captured alive (Pacheco 2013). In addition, the amount of hooked green turtles (Chelonia mydas) is statistically lower when using smaller hooks (Type C, number 13) (Pacheco 2013).

 

Interactions with seabirds are considered insignificant in this fishery. Pacheco (2013) (Pacheco 2013) recorded one bird bycaught.

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).

Guatemala
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

According to research made by López (2005) (lopez 2005), between 2001 and 2003, the composition of the bycatch in longline fisheries targeting common dolphinfish in Guatemala were thresher sharks (Alopiassp.) 30% (vulnerable) (IUCN 2018), marlin (Makaira sp). 22% (vulnerable) (IUCN 2018), yellowfin tuna (Thunnusalbacares) 20% (near threatened) (IUCN 2018), scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini)11% (endangered) (IUCN 2018), blue shark (Prionaceglauca) 0.43% (near threatened) (IUCN 2018), tiger shark (Galeocerdocuvier) 0.1% (Near threatened) (IUCN 2018) and blacktip shark (Carcharhinuslimbatus) 0.08% (near threatened) (IUCN 2018).

 

According to Gonzalez-Bernat and Clifton (2017) (Gonzalez-Bernat and Clifton 2017), the industrial fleet operating with longlines also targets during different times: silky shark (Carcharinus falciformis), blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus), whitenose shark (Nasolamia velox), scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), smooth-hound (Mustelus spp.), blue shark (Prionace glauca), tiger shark (Galocerdo cuvier), nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum), pelagic thresher (Alopias pelagicus), and mexican hornshark (Heterodontus mexicanus). The artisanal fleet targets silky shark and scalloped hammerheads with longlines as well. López and Ixquiac (2010) (Lopez and Ixquiac 2010) indicate the common dolphinfish artisanal fleet both target and incidentally capture indo-Pacific sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus), blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) and tunas (Thunnus spp.).

 

In a statistical bulletin published by MAGA (MAGA, 2016), the total pelagic bycatch in 2016 reached 42,345 pounds compared with 293 pounds registered just for common dolphinfish in May and June. Statistical results indicated that shark fisheries reached 689,420 pounds the same year. Both sharks and incidental catch were constant over the whole year.

 

According to CEDEPESCA (CEDEPESCA 2013), strategies to manage bycatch species to ensure that the common dolphinfish fishery does not represent serious or irreversible risks to some populations, have not been implemented yet. It should be noted that the main measures taken to reach a more accurate selectiveness in the fishery are those taken by the Guatemalan government regarding fishing gear characteristics.

 

 It is not possible to know how the common dolphinfish fishery is affecting other species due to there being no long term documented data about bycatch.

Nicaragua
Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 8 January 2019

 

No information regarding bycatch in vertical line fisheries is available.

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

No information regarding bycatch in vertical line fisheries is available.

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.

Panama
Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 8 January 2019

No information regarding bycatch in vertical line fisheries is available.

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

No information regarding bycatch in vertical line fisheries is available.

Longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

The common dolphinfish fishery in Panama is considered a multi-species fishery that captures a wide number of commercial and non-commercial species. Pacheco (2013) (Pacheco 2013) reported more than 25 bony fishes and 8 sharks captured in longlines targeting common dolphinfish. From these the most commercial species such as yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) or wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri) are commonly retained due to their price. In addition, billfishes such as the Indo-Pacific sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus), black marlin (Makaira nigricans), and swordfish (Xiphias gladius) are also bycaught.

 

No management plans are set for monitoring and mitigating bycatch in Panamanian longlines targeting dolphinfish.

Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

The common dolphinfish fishery in Panama is considered a multi-species fishery that captures a wide number of commercial and non-commercial species. Pacheco (2013) (Pacheco 2013) reported more than 25 bony fishes and 8 sharks captured in longlines targeting common dolphinfish. From these the most commercial species such as yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) or wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri) are commonly retained due to their price. In addition, billfishes such as the Indo-Pacific sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus), black marlin (Makaira nigricans), and swordfish (Xiphias gladius) are also bycaught.

 

No management plans are set for monitoring and mitigating bycatch in Panamanian longlines targeting dolphinfish.

Peru
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

In the fishery for common dolphinfish, several species, including sharks, are usually bycaught. Doherty et al., (2014) stated that blue sharks (Prionace glauca), shortfin makos (Isurusoxirynchus) and smooth hammerheads (Sphyrna zygaena) are usually caught at a rate of 1.4 ± 2.6 sharks per set. Furthermore, other species such as rays (Dasyatis spp.), sunfish (Mola mola, Masturusl anceolatus), opah (Lampris sp.), swordfish (Xiphias gladius), and yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) are bycaught while fishing for common dolphinfish (Alfaro-Shigueto et al. 2011). From these, only the last two species are kept for sale.

 

In addition, thresher sharks (Alopias spp.) are reported as bycatch in the common dolphinfish fishery In Central Peru; however, the incidence is minimum (Ayala and Sánchez-Scaglioni 2014).

 

            No management plans are set for monitoring and mitigate bycatch in Peruvian longlines targeting dolphinfish

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.

Guatemala
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

According to López (2005) (lopez 2005) the common dolphinfish fishing area comprises surface and waters within the EEZ and international waters. Common dolphinfish is a pelagic species so longlines are set slightly below the surface. According to this information, fishing gears used in the common dolphinfish fishery would not affect the sea bottom

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.

Pole-lines hand operated

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.

Mechanized lines

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.

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).

Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 8 January 2019

In the Coiba National Park, an artisanal fishery is allowed to target groupers, snappers and dolphinfishes. To target those fishes, vertical lines are used deploying between 10 and 20 circular hooks. Circular hooks of size 8.0 to 15.0 (size) but more 9.0, 13.0, and 14.0 are used in the fishery (Vega et al. 2016). No major interaction with the seabed occurs.

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

In the Coiba National Park, an artisanal fishery is allowed to target groupers, snappers and dolphinfishes. To target those fishes, vertical lines are used deploying between 10 and 20 circular hooks. Circular hooks of size 8.0 to 15.0 (size) but more 9.0, 13.0, and 14.0 are used in the fishery (Vega et al. 2016). No major interaction with the seabed occurs.

 

Longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

Longlines targeting common dolphinfish are reported to operate along the coast of Panama. Lasso and Zapata (1999) (Lasso and Zapata 1999) recorded that longline vessels use between 1400 and 1500 hooks per set. In addition, they noted that the most important fishing grounds were: the Panama area (6°00’ to 7°00’N, and 80°00’ to 82°00’W) and el Filo zone (6°22’ to 7°48’N, and 78°00’ to 79°00’W). Similarly, Pacheco (2013) (Pacheco 2013) conducted an experiment in which they identified that there are two main fishing grounds used by fishermen in Panama. First, a western one from the Coiba island within the Gulf of Chiriqui. Secondly, the zone southern from Las Perlas Archipelago within the Gulf of Panama. In this experiment, total hooks used (changed from circular #13 and #14-usually used by fishermen- to circular #15 and #16) varied between 400 and 1800 per set, with an average of 1111 hooks per set. As the operational activity is performed between 5 and 33 meters from the surface (depth used by most fishermen in and out of the experiment), there is likely to be minimal damage to the habitat.

 

In the Coiba National Park, an artisanal fishery is allowed to target groupers, snappers and dolphinfishes. To target those fishes, pelagic longlines are utilized deploying between 600 and 1500 circular hooks. Circular hooks of size 8.0 to 15.0 (size) but more 9.0, 13.0, and 14.0 are used in the fishery (Vega et al., 2016) (Vega et al. 2016). No interaction with the seabed occurs.

Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

Longlines targeting common dolphinfish are reported to operate along the coast of Panama. Lasso and Zapata (1999) (Lasso and Zapata 1999) recorded that longline vessels use between 1400 and 1500 hooks per set. In addition, they noted that the most important fishing grounds were: the Panama area (6°00’ to 7°00’N, and 80°00’ to 82°00’W) and el Filo zone (6°22’ to 7°48’N, and 78°00’ to 79°00’W). Similarly, Pacheco (2013) (Pacheco 2013) conducted an experiment in which they identified that there are two main fishing grounds used by fishermen in Panama. First, a western one from the Coiba island within the Gulf of Chiriqui. Secondly, the zone southern from Las Perlas Archipelago within the Gulf of Panama. In this experiment, total hooks used (changed from circular #13 and #14-usually used by fishermen- to circular #15 and #16) varied between 400 and 1800 per set, with an average of 1111 hooks per set. As the operational activity is performed between 5 and 33 meters from the surface (depth used by most fishermen in and out of the experiment), there is likely to be minimal damage to the habitat.

 

In the Coiba National Park, an artisanal fishery is allowed to target groupers, snappers and dolphinfishes. To target those fishes, pelagic longlines are utilized deploying between 600 and 1500 circular hooks. Circular hooks of size 8.0 to 15.0 (size) but more 9.0, 13.0, and 14.0 are used in the fishery (Vega et al. 2016). No interaction with the seabed occurs.

Peru
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

The common dolphinfish longline fishery in Peru is seasonal, usually operating from spring (November) to summer (March)(Solano et al. 2008).Hook types used are J2, J3, J4, J5, and J6, using giant squid, mackerel and flying fish as bait (Alfaro-Shigueto et al. 2010) (Solano et al. 2015). Further, this type of fishery deploys between1000 and 1600 hooks per set, on average (Ayala and Sánchez-Scaglioni 2014) (Alfaro-Shigueto et al. 2010) . Although longlines targeting common dolphinfish operate along the Peruvian coast, the most important fishing grounds are located between 5° and 14°S, and 17° and 18°S (Solano et al. 2008).

 

Common dolphinfish is caught primarily beyond 5 nautical miles, ranging farther from the coast than other Peruvian artisanal fisheries (Estrella Arellano and Swartzman, 2010). Longlines targeting dolphinfish set their gear at the sea surface with 99% of sets occurring in oceanic waters >200m in depth (Alfaro-Shigueto et al. 2010). As a result, there is likely to be minimal damage to the habitat since the nature of the fishing methods and the fishing grounds used by the fishery.

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

Guatemala

Last updated on 8 January 2019

Common dolphinfish competes against another pelagic fish for the same species within the trophic chain (Lopez and Ixquiac 2010). This competition would not be necessarily due to the capability of feeding on a variety of foods but rather it can be considered as opportunistic (Oxenford 1999). The common dolphinfish is a fast and opportunist predator that feeds on fish and cephalopods; thanks to its speed, it often successfully chases flying fish, but in turn is usually a victim to large pelagic species like marlin, tuna and emperador (Lopez and Ixquiac 2010).

 

It has been reported that, common dolphinfish is prey for oceanic fishes, including members of its species. Albacore (Thunnus alalunga) and yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) have been found with juvenile common dolphinfish in their stomachs (López and Ixquiac, 2010). 

 

There is no management plan or strategy to handle impacts of the fishery on the ecosystem and a proper monitoring system to clarify the interaction of this fishery with recognized vulnerable species like some sharks and turtles is not in place. There is not enough information to identify all common dolphinfish interactions in the ecosystem. Pelagic longlines are relatively selective and interact with other species exclusively in the epipelagic area

Nicaragua
Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 8 January 2019

Other species inhabit deeper waters and are more susceptible to this fishing gear. Reliable and accurate statistical information about bycatch and ETP species should be collected by INPESCA in order to clarify how vulnerable shark species populations are to the common dolphinfish fishery.

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

Other species inhabit deeper waters and are more susceptible to this fishing gear. Reliable and accurate statistical information about bycatch and ETP species should be collected by INPESCA in order to clarify how vulnerable shark species populations are to the common dolphinfish fishery.

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.

Panama
Longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

Since major restrictions have been recently settled to control longline fishing effort in Panama, no considerable threats to the ecosystem are currently thought to occur. Studies focused on possible impacts on the ecosystem due to common dolphinfish fisheries in Panama have not been conducted yet. Nonetheless, some approaches have been discussed to determine the position of common dolphinfish in the Panamanian marine trophic web. Lasso and Zapata (1999) (Lasso and Zapata 1999) considered that common dolphinfish is a primary carnivore species, with a diet dominated by fishes (Exocoetidae, Signathidae, and Scombridae) but occasionally with ingestion of other prey species such as crustaceans (Portunus spp.) and cephalopods (Loligo spp.), depending on availability. To comprehend the ecological role of common dolphinfish further research needs to be developed (e.g., predator-prey relationships). Thus, the ecosystem approach desired by the Plan of Action for Sustainable Fisheries in Panama would be reinforced to guarantee the sustainability of the common dolphinfish fishery.

Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

Since major restrictions have been recently settled to control longline fishing effort in Panama, no considerable threats to the ecosystem are currently thought to occur. Studies focused on possible impacts on the ecosystem due to common dolphinfish fisheries in Panama have not been conducted yet. Nonetheless, some approaches have been discussed to determine the position of common dolphinfish in the Panamanian marine trophic web. Lasso and Zapata (1999) (Lasso and Zapata 1999) considered that common dolphinfish is a primary carnivore species, with a diet dominated by fishes (Exocoetidae, Signathidae, and Scombridae) but occasionally with ingestion of other prey species such as crustaceans (Portunus spp.) and cephalopods (Loligo spp.), depending on availability. To comprehend the ecological role of common dolphinfish further research needs to be developed (e.g., predator-prey relationships). Thus, the ecosystem approach desired by the Plan of Action for Sustainable Fisheries in Panama would be reinforced to guarantee the sustainability of the common dolphinfish fishery.

Peru
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 8 January 2019

No major ecosystem threats have been described in Peruvian waters due to the fishery for common dolphinfish. However, it is important to point out that common dolphinfish plays an important role in the Peruvian marine (pelagic) ecosystem as a predator. Common dolphinfish consumes a wide number of prey items (22) with a diet dominated by cephalopods (regarding paper nautilus-Argonauta spp.-, Patagonian longfin squid-Doryteuthis gahi-, and jumbo flying squid-Dosidicus gigas), fishes (flying fish-Exocoetus volitans- and Peruvian anchovy-Engraulis ringens) and crustaceans such as the carrot squat lobster (Pleuroncodes monodon(Solano et al. 2015) (Alegre et al. 2014) (Solano et al. 2008) . In addition, common dolphinfish has been reported as prey of the blue (Prionace glauca) shark in northern Peru (Cordova-Zavaleta 2018). Therefore, an ecosystem approach must be conducted for the common dolphinfish fishery in Peru to minimize the impacts of this fishery on the Peruvian marine ecosystem.

 

The fact that the magnitude of longlining effort is important in Peru, suggests to the Peruvian government the necessity for implementing monitoring programs to fully describe the impacts of this fishery in the short and the long term (Alfaro-Shigueto et al. 2011).

FishSource Scores

Last updated on 9 January 2019

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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.

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

STOCK HEALTH:

ECOSYSTEM IMPACTS

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Bycatch Subscores

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

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Habitat Subscores

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

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Ecosystem Subscores

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

As trophic relationships between common dolphinfish and its prey and predators have been established (Solano et al., 2008, 2015; Cordova-Zavaleta, 2018), a disruption of the fishery on the ecosystem could occur. However, serious or irreversible harm have not been observed

Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

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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)

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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 18
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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