The Government of St. Helena requested that MRAG provide and manage an experienced fisheries observer for a single deployment on a pole and line vessel conducting an exploratory fishing trip to St Helena waters. The 2013 pole and line tuna observer programme provided a unique opportunity for an assessment of the tuna and tuna like resources around St Helena, as well as providing vital information on exploitation rates and biological and environmental factors. Data were gathered on maturity stages, length frequency and CPUE which would contribute to the assessment of the status of these stocks.
An exploratory fishery plan was developed to spread the effort between different research areas to cover open water resources as well as those around known seamounts.
(Image: Pedro Fonseca Sousa de Jesus, MRAG Observer)