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Striped marlin - Eastern Pacific
Marine Resource  Fact Sheet
Data Quality Assurance fact sheets 2018
Striped marlin - Eastern Pacific
Fact Sheet Citation  
Owned byInter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) – More
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Species:
FAO Names: en - Striped marlin, fr - Marlin rayé, es - Marlín rayado
Geographic extent of Striped marlin - Eastern Pacific
Main Descriptors
Considered a single stock: Yes        Spatial Scale: Regional
Management unit: Yes        Reference year: 2017
 
 
Biological State and Trend
State & Trend Descriptors
PartnerFIRMS
Exploitation rateFishing mortality is unknownUncertain/Not assessedGray
Abundance levelAbundance level is unknownUncertain/Not assessed
FAO Categories
Exploitation stateUncertain
Habitat and Biology
Depth zone: Abyssal ( >1000m).   Horizontal distribution: Oceanic.   Vertical distribution: Pelagic.  

Geographical Distribution
Jurisdictional distribution: Highly migratory

Water Area Overview
Spatial Scale: Regional

Geo References
Resource Structure
Considered a single stock: Yes


Striped marlin (Kajikia audax) occur throughout the Pacific Ocean between about 45°N and 45°S. Significant effort has been devoted to understanding the stock structure of striped marlin in the Pacific Ocean, which is moderately well known. It is clear that there are a number of stocks. Information on movements is limited: striped marlin tagged with conventional dart tags and released off the tip of Baja California were generally recaptured near where they were tagged, but some were recaptured around the Revillagigedo Islands, a few around Hawaii, and one near Norfolk Island, off Australia. Tagging studies in the Pacific, using pop-off satellite tags, indicated that there is essentially no mixing among tagging areas, and that striped marlin maintain site fidelity. Analyses of fisheries and genetic data indicate that the northern EPO is home to a single stock, though there may be a seasonal low-level presence of juveniles from a more westerly Hawaii/Japan stock.

The assessment on which this report is based is for the stock of striped marlin in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) north of 10°S, east of about 145°W north of the equator, and east of about 165°W south of the equator. Although not included in the assessment model, there may be limited exchange of fish between this stock and stocks in adjacent regions.
Exploitation
 

Historically, the majority of the catch in the EPO was taken by longline fisheries, which began expanding into the EPO in the mid-1950s, and extended throughout the region by the late 1960s (Figure I-1).
Figure I-1: Landings of striped marlin from the northern EPO by longline and recreational fisheries, 1954-2016. Due to unreported catches by recreational fisheries, estimates for 2009-2016 are minimums.

Except for a few years in the late 1960s to early 1970s in the northern EPO, these fisheries did not target billfish. More recently, catches by recreational fisheries have become important, although most fish caught are released.

Fishing by artisanal longline vessels targeting tuna and other species off Central America, for which catch data are not available, appears to have increased at least over the past decade. The shifting patterns of areas fished and targeting practices increase the difficulties encountered when using fisheries data in analyses of stock status and trends. These difficulties are exacerbated when analyzing species which are not principal targets of the fishery, and further exacerbated when the total catch of the species by all fisheries is not known.

The fishing effort by large longline vessels in the northern EPO has increased by about 20% since 2010, but the catch of striped marlin has remained largely unchanged. The ISC plans to complete a full assessment of the North Pacific stock of striped marlin in 2019.

The recreational fishery is believed to take most of the catch of striped marlin in the northern EPO. However, the most recent catch report was for 1990-2007, with preliminary data for 2008, and this paucity of data probably means that the catches of striped marlin in the EPO have been significantly underestimated since 2008. Also, it appears that catches of billfishes, including striped marlin, by the artisanal longline fishery operating off Central America are not reported, at least not to the IATTC. Therefore, the total catch of striped marlin in the EPO, and thus the total impact of fishing on the stock since about 2008-2009, are not known.

The last full assessment of striped marlin was conducted in 2008, using Stock Synthesis, and later updated with data to 30 October 2010. Efforts continue to obtain reliable catch data from all fisheries. Until the data are available and updated, and a review of the status of striped marlin in the EPO is completed, it is recommended that, as a precautionary measure, fishing effort by fisheries that take the majority of the striped marlin catch in the EPO not be increased.

See also fishery fact sheet:EPO Tunas and billfishes fishery
Assessment
 
Overall Assessment Results

Key results of the assessment were that

  1. The stock is not overfished.
  2. Overfishing is not occurring.
  3. The spawning stock biomass has been increasing and is above that expected to support MSY catch.
  4. Catches in recent years have remained at about half the MSY catch level. If fishing effort and harvests had continued at levels near 2010 levels, it was expected that the biomass of the stock would continue to increase over the near term.

Management
Management unit: Yes
Source of information
 
Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC). “"Tunas and billfishes in the eastern Pacific Ocean in 2017. Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission." Fishery Status Report. IATTC 2018.” Click to openhttps://www.iattc.org/PDFFiles/FisheryStatusReports/_English/No-16-2018_Tunas%20billfishes%20and%20other%20pelagic%20species%20in%20the%20eastern%20Pacific%20Ocean%20in%202017.pdf
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