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Project H.7.b - South Pacific swordfish assessment

01 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2022

Program(s) in charge: Stock Assessment Program
Conduct an assessment for South Pacific swordfish
  • The South Pacific swordfish stock has not been assessed since 2011.
  • The longline fishery has recently increased targeting of swordfish
  • An updated assessment is needed to provide management advice
Relevance for management
The stock assessment is needed to provide management advice
36 months
Workplan and status
  • Organize a workshop to review the knowledge and start the collaborations
  • Obtain data
  • Report progress to SAC-12 in 2021
  • Pending on data submission by main fishing fleets:
    • Host a second workshop to discuss the data and other model inputs 
    • Conduct assessment 
    • Host a third workshop to discussion of modelling results 
  • Report to SAC-13 in 2022 
External collaborators
Scientists from Chile, European Union, Peru, Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei, China and the Pacific Community (SPC)
Report to SAC-12 in 2021
Report to SAC-13 in 2022
Updated date: 01 May 2023
Progress summary for the reporting period
  • Progress on this project to date is incidental to research on other topics (CAPAM workshop on spatio-temporal models; workshop on longline indices of abundance
  • February 2019: Exploratory work for the workshop included analyses that used the data for swordfish. 
  • Contacts in key areas of expertise have been established to start collaborative work
  • Ongoing since August 2020 Collaboration with Chile regarding the workshop organization and data sharing
  • December 2021: The 1st Technical Workshop on Swordfish in the South EPO was organized and took place virtually
  • December 2021: An MOU was signed with Korea to use their operational-level catch and effort data
  • February 2021: Collaborative work was undertaken with Japan to construct indices of abundance
  • Ongoing since January 2021: communication with Spain and Ecuador regarding data sharing
  • March 2021: Presentation at the ISC Billfish working group meeting on the discussions that took place during the 1st Technical Workshop on Swordfish
  • March 2021: Participation on the 2021 SPC Pre-Assessment workshop, when discussion about the S WCPO swordfish assessment took place
  • May 2022: An update on the progress to complete the assessment was presented at SAC-13
  • August 2022: The assessment was completed, and a draft report was published in the 100th IATTC meeting
  • May 2023: The final report will be presented at SAC-14 and published in the SAC-14 webpage
Challenges and key lessons learnt
The workshop done before starting the assessment was essencial to build a conceptual model for the stock (including key uncertainties), identify data sources, and foster collaboration. The workshop was very successful, despite being on of the first workshops done online during the COVID-19 pandemic ,due to a good mix of stakeholders and experts in several aspects related to the assessment. The capabilities of online meeting were used efficiently by doing a mix of recorded presentations and short live discussions. The workshop participants agreed on a list of recommendations for the assessment work and for future research that were very useful. Several CPC committed to collaborate with the assessment effort and to share their data.
The main challenged faced during the assessment work was to access the operational-level logbool data for longliners. In some cases, the access was denied, and aggregated data was provided instead. In order cases, the data was incomplete. Finally, the access was delayed other cases. Those difficulties delayed the the work and an adjustment of the workplan had to be done. A routine submission of the necessary data in the future will facilitate the next benchmark assessment.
Collaboration with CPCs was key to complete the assessment
The three stock of swordfish in the Pacific Ocean were assessed during 2021-2023,the discussions in several fora about those assessments showed a synergic effect, all assessment benefited from the continuing the dialog among the modelers.
  • Report of the 1st Technical Workshop on swordfish in the S EPO
  • SAC-12-07 South EPO swordfish assessment: progress report
  • IATTC-100-INF-B South EPO swordfish assessment:draft
  • SAC-12-14 South EPO swordfish assessment: final report
  • SAC-12-14 Presentation