IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Effects of climate variability on the distribution and fishing conditions of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) in the western Indian Ocean


  • Kuo-Wei Lan
  • Karen Evans
  • Ming-An Lee



Variations in the abundance and distribution of pelagic tuna populations have been associated with large-scale climate indices such as the Southern Oscillation Index in the Pacific Ocean and the North Atlantic Oscillation in the Atlantic Ocean. Similarly to the Pacific and Atlantic, variability in the distribution and catch rates of tuna species have also been observed in association with the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), a basin-scale pattern of sea surface and subsurface temperatures that affect climate in the Indian Ocean. The environmental processes associated with the IOD that drive variability in tuna populations, however, are largely unexplored. To better understand these processes, we investigated longline catch rates of yellowfin tuna and their distributions in the western Indian Ocean in relation to IOD events, sea surface water temperatures (SST) and estimates of net primary productivity (NPP). Catch per unit effort (CPUE) was observed to be negatively correlated to the IOD with a periodicity centred around 4 years. During positive IOD events, SSTs were relatively higher, NPP was lower, CPUE decreased and catch distributions were restricted to the northern and western margins of the western Indian Ocean. During negative IOD events, lower SSTs and higher NPP were associated with increasing CPUE, particularly in the Arabian Sea and seas surrounding Madagascar, and catches expanded into central regions of the western Indian Ocean. These findings provide preliminary insights into some of the key environmental features driving the distribution of yellowfin tuna in the western Indian Ocean and associated variability in fisheries catches. Copyright The Author(s) 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Kuo-Wei Lan & Karen Evans & Ming-An Lee, 2013. "Effects of climate variability on the distribution and fishing conditions of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) in the western Indian Ocean," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 119(1), pages 63-77, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:119:y:2013:i:1:p:63-77
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0637-8

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nikolay Nenovsky & S. Statev, 2006. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00260898, HAL.
    2. M. Ruth & K. Donaghy & P. Kirshen, 2006. "Introduction," Chapters,in: Regional Climate Change and Variability, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Casals J. & Jerez M. & Sotoca S., 2002. "An Exact Multivariate Model-Based Structural Decomposition," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 553-564, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:119:y:2013:i:1:p:63-77. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.