Research Publication

Application of a parametric survival model to understand capture-related mortality and predation of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) released in a recreational fishery

By Jeff Kneebone, Hugues P. Benoît, Diego Bernal, Walt Golet

Originally published in Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences in March 2021



Distinguishing the cause and magnitude of capture-related mortality (CRM) in fishes is important for effective management. To better understand CRM in yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) released in the recreational troll fishery off the United States east coast, 48 fish (76–127 cm curved fork length, CFL) were monitored for up to 86 days postrelease with survivorship pop-up satellite archival tags. Recovered data indicated 40 fish were alive at the time of tag detachment and eight died, including six from predation, from 0 to 30 days postrelease. Survival model variants were constructed to independently estimate the rates of immediate capture and handling (CH), postrelease (PR), total CRM (CH + PR), and natural mortality (M) for small (≤103 cm CFL) and large (>103 cm CFL) fish under different hypotheses and causes of mortality. CH was low (0%–8%) for both size classes but predation was an important component of PR, particularly in the small size class. Total CRM was 51% (95% CI: 26%, 81%) for small and 8% (95% CI: 2%, 30%) for large fish.

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Affiliated Authors
  • Jeff Kneebone

    Jeff Kneebone, PhD, Senior Scientist, Fisheries Science and Emerging Technologies Program, Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life

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