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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
OSCAR L. CHAPMAN, Secretary ALBERT M. DAY, Director
A REVIEW OF DEVELOPMENTS AND NEWS OF THE FISHERY INDUSTRIES
A. W. Anderson, Editor
Applications for COMMERCIAL FISHERIES REVIEW,which is mailed tree to members of the
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Department of the Interior, Washington, 25, D.C.
The contents of this publication have not been copyrighted and may be reprinted freely; however, reference to
January 1950 Washington 25, D.C. Vol.12, No. 1
PRELIMINARY FISHERIES SURVEY OF THE
PART I - THE HAWAIIAN LONG-LINE FISHERY
This survey was undertaken for the purpose of gathering information on the tunas and tuna bait fishes of the Hawaiian-Line Islands region to be used in planning the operations of POFI research and exploratory fishing vessels in the waters of the tropical and sub-tropical central Pacific Ocean. Since commercial tuna fisheries now exist in this region only in the Hawaiian Islands proper, some emphasis has been placed on a study of the fisheries of this island group.
This report is based upon the information gathered between January 3 and June 30, 1949. The data were gathered from trips aboard fishing vessels, field trips to outlying islands, examination of catches landed at local markets, and discussions with fishermen and market personnel. There has been opportunity to study the tuna fisheries of a small section of the central Pacific Ocean. The data compiled on places of occurrence, abundance, species, and methods of capture of tunas, spearfishes and bait fishes include information which will be of value toward understanding the vertical and horizontal distribution, seasonal changes in occurrence, and habits of these fishes in this area.
It was originally planned that the results of the entire survey be presented in a single report; however, it seems desirable that certain phases of the work should be summarized at present in order that this information may be made readily available during the early stages of planning vessel operations. This paper is Part I of the complete report. Other parts will follow.
The tuna long line has become an important fishing gear for exploiting the large pelagic tunas and spearfishesi/ that enter the coastal and offshore waters of the Hawaiian Archipelago. This island group is the only region in the tropical central Pacific Ocean where a long-line fishery is now established.
Fishery Research Biologist, Section of Biology and Oceanography, Pacific Oceanic Fishery Investigations, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. l/Spearfishes include the raarlins, swordfishes, and sailfishes.
NOTE: Many persons aided the reconnaissance survey of the Hawaiian-Line Islands region. Mr. Vernon Brock, Director of the Territorial Division of Fish and Game, made available » the catch statistics of the tuna landings in Hawaiian waters and gave much valuable advice
.jy^. and assistance. Grateful acknowledgment must be made of the services extended by Mr. Paul Lexton, British District Officer at Canton Island and Mr. Tfalter Backus, Civil Aeronautics Administration Administrator at Canton Island. CAA and the U. S. Coast Guard provided transportation to the various islands visited. Besides these persons and government agencies, many fishermen, officials at the Honolulu Market Place and Service personnel offered en their fullest cooperation.
Prior to World War II, Japanese tuna boats conducted similar operations in the waters south of Japan, including the former Mandated Islands region, and offshore from Japan to the longitude of Midway, The hulk of the tunas which were
caught in these areas
28oo, 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 was landed at Japanese
home ports. At present
The waters about
fishes; however, it was not until the year 1917 that a Japanese fisherman by the name of Imose, began exploiting, by means of long lines, the sub-surface levels for the large tunas in the waters off the Waianae coast of Oahu. Following the introduction of the Japanese long-line technique, it became possible to exploit the coastal and offshore waters more efficiently. Thus, the Hawaiian tuna fishery, which had previously been limited to surface fishing by trolling and pole and line, expanded considerably, once it was demonstrated that these large oceanic fishes occurred in sufficient abundance to support the present existing commercial fishery.
1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1943 I94e 1947 1949
FIGURE I - TUNA CATCH (YELLOWFIN AND BIG-EYED TUNAS AND ALBACORE
Table 1 - Tunas and Spearfishes Landed at Hawaiian Ports, "by Species,
!'i'94W= 1 1946 1 1947
Yellowfin (Neothunnus macropterus) .
Albacore (Thunnus germo)
Striped marlin (Makaira mi tsukurii)
Black marlin (Makaira mazara)
Svrordfish (Xiphias gladius)2/
Sailfish (istiophorus orientalis) ..
677,430 106,065 482,168 700,465 109,319 189.575
l_/For only 6 months - July to December. 2/Probably includes some marlins.
Source: Catch records of the Territorial Division of Fish and Game.