The Status of Réunion Island (France) - Based Tuna Fisheries in the Indian Ocean
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The Réunion fishery has experienced rapid growth and development in all segments (artisan fishery, Antarctic deep sea fishery, longline fishery) for the last five years, in marked contrast to the situation experienced by the huge majority of other European Union fishing communities. The longlining sector, which began five years ago, has shown the most rapid of development. Longlining has, since 1996, not only equalled but overtaken the artisan fishery, with more than 2,300 t production in 1997 and an active fleet of 21 vessels which range from 9 to 33 m long. This fishery targets swordfish (Xiphias gladius) mainly throughout the year, from the equator to 32oS, using deep freeze conservation techniques. The artisanal segment has also shown a rapid extension due to the development of FAD-associated techniques. In the Réunion Island coastal waters (up to 15 miles), there are now more than 30 FADs, exploited by local fishermen from small fishing units with troll and drifting hand lines for scale on the local market.
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