A Review of the British Indian Ocean Territory Fisheries Conservation and Management Zone Tuna Fishery, 1991 - 1995
This paper presents a review of the tuna fishery within the 200-mile Fisheries Conservation and Management Zone (FCMZ) of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) (Chagos Archipelago), over the period 1991 to 1995. Particular emphasis is placed on the most recent fishing seasons 1993-1994 and 1994-1995. Fishing inside the BIOT FCMZ has been dominated by distant-water fishing nations. Longliners from Japan, Korea and Taiwan have fished in the area around the Chagos Archipelago for many years. Purseseine vessels have operated in the area since the early 1980s. Some records of driftnetting also exist prior to the ban on driftnetting in 1992. The tuna fishery inside the zone is highly seasonal and highly variable. Longline vessels typically operate during two periods, June to September and November to February. Purse-seine vessels typically operate during a single period from November to February. The seasonality of the fishery is due to the highlymigratory stocks exploited. The situation may be complicated further by the position of the BIOT FCMZ, which may lie in an area of overlap between the western and eastern Indian Ocean stocks of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares).
- Miscellaneous