Declines in landings of the hairtail Trichiurus japonicas indicate the need for more effective management of this species. Hairtail spawning peaks occur twice yearly in the Bungo Channel, in spring and autumn. Relationships between hairtail stock and brood seasonality were examined to determine if an association between either and a decline in landings existed. Stock assessments show that the biomass of both spring and autumn hairtail broods from within and around the Bungo Channel are decreasing, with a rapid reduction in spring-brood stock abundance after 2007 largely responsible for decreased landings. Yield and spawning per recruitment analyses indicate current fishing pressure to be higher than several reference points. We suggest that fishing pressure needs to be reduced by at least 20% of the current level for this fishery to remain sustainable, as the projected stock abundance and catch demonstrate that the current fishing pressure is unsustainable. Analysis of time-series data of recruits per spawning revealed spring-brood recruitment to have been strong in year classes 2003 and 2005. Of various options available for improved management of this fishery, we propose that fishing pressure should be reduced in the years following the appearance of strong year classes to increase future biomasses and landings.
Fisheries Science – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 1, 2017
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