Technical report

Characterisation of the tuna purse seine fishery in Papua New Guinea

Date released
26 July 2009
Publication Code

Nicol S., Lawson T., Briand K., Kirby D., Molony B., Bromhead D., Williams P., Schneiter E., Kumoru L. and Hampton J.


The tuna fisheries in the western and central Pacific Ocean comprises a variety of fishing activities, the most important of which are the industrial-scale purse seine, longline and pole-and-line fisheries. Large catches from the same stocks are also made by numerous small fishing vessels employing a variety of fishing methods in the adjacent waters of the Philippines and Indonesia. The size of the fishery has increased through time, and, in addition to target species, there is a significant catch of other species taken. Understanding the extent of this catch is important for managing this expanding fishery and the marine ecosystem upon which it is reliant, and meeting the obligations of international conventions. The analysis reported in this publication focuses on characterising the target and non-target catch of the purse seine fishery in the PNG exclusive economic zone. It is anticipated that the approach adopted in this report will be broadly applicable to other Pacific island countries and territories, and will provide an example for current and future Australian-sponsored work in the region.