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A short history of the fisheries of Saint-Paul and Amsterdam

Abstract : The uninhabited islands of Saint Paul and Amsterdam (SPA), which are now part of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories (Territoires Australes et Antacrtiques Français or TAAF; see were exploited soon after France claimed them in 1843 for their marine mammal resources (seals, fur seals, whales), until the targeted species were nearly exterminated. This was followed in the early 20th Century by a seasonal fishery for Patagonian rock lobster, Jasus paulensis (Heller 1862), conducted by vessels based in La Réunion. Various attempts at canning lobster failed, mostly under harrowing circumstances for those involved, whether from France, Madagascar or La Réunion. However, since 1948, a sustainable model of exploitation of this resource appears to have been found, though quotas of this trap-caught lobster had to lowered and catches declined from 80,000-100,000 t in the 1950s-1970s to about 40,000 t from 2000-2010. While the lobster catch declined, the (smaller) catch of fishes (notably St. Paul’s fingerfin, Nemadactylus monodactylus; hapuku wreckfish, Polyprion oxygeneios; bluenose warehou, Hyperoglyphe antarctica; and yellowtail amberjack, Seriola lalandi), fluctuates, reading a maximum of over 1,000 t in 1972-1974. The Museum of Natural History (MNHN) in Paris, which is tasked with monitoring this fishery, created the PECHEKER database, used for this catch reconstruction, and which we feel is reliable for the lobster fishery, but is very tentative for the fish catches, that could be estimated only approximately.
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Contributor : Patrice Pruvost Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 5:05:29 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 29, 2022 - 3:39:43 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, July 27, 2022 - 6:01:39 PM


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  • HAL Id : mnhn-02921993, version 1


P. Pruvost, Guy Duhamel, Frederic Le Manach, Maria-Lourdes Palomares. A short history of the fisheries of Saint-Paul and Amsterdam. UBC Fisheries Center: Working Paper Series, 2015, 23 (1), p. 37-45. ⟨mnhn-02921993⟩



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