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CR 43:149-162 (2010)  -  DOI:

Impacts of climate variability on the tuna economy of Seychelles

Jan Robinson1,*, Patrice Guillotreau2,3, Ramón Jiménez-Toribio4, Frédéric Lantz5, Lesya Nadzon3,5, Juliette Dorizo1, Calvin Gerry1, Francis Marsac

1Seychelles Fishing Authority, PO Box 449, Fishing Port, Mahé, Seychelles
2IRD, BP 171, Avenue Jean Monnet, 34 203 Sète Cedex, France
3LEMNA, University of Nantes, IEMN, BP 52231, 44322 Nantes Cedex 3, France
4MEMPES-AEA, University of Huelva, Plaza de la Merced, Huelva, Spain
5IFP, 1 & 4, avenue de Bois-Préau, 92852 Rueil-Malmaison Cedex, France

ABSTRACT: Many small island states have developed economies that are strongly dependent on tuna fisheries. Consequently, they are vulnerable to the socio-economic effects of climate change and variability, processes that are known to impact tuna fisheries distribution and productivity. The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of climate oscillations on the tuna-dependent economy of Seychelles. Using a multiplier approach, the direct, indirect and induced economic effects of the tuna industry expenditure benefiting the Seychelles' economy declined in 1998 by 58, 26 and 35%, respectively (mean decline: 42%), a year of strong climate oscillation in the western Indian Ocean. Multivariate patterns in tuna purse-seine vessel expenditures in port were substantially modified by strong climate oscillations, particularly in 1998. A cointegration time-series model predicted that a 40% decline in tuna landings and transhipment in Port Victoria, a value commensurate with that observed in 1998, would result in a 34% loss for the local economy solely through reductions in cargo handling expenditures. Of several indices tested, the Indian Oscillation Index was best at predicting the probability of switching between low and high regimes of landings and transhipment, which translate into impacts for the economy. It is hypothesised that a late 2006/early 2007 climate oscillation was compounded by prior overfishing to produce a stronger impact on the fishery and economy of Seychelles. The effects of fishing and climate variability on tuna fisheries are complex and pose significant challenges for fisheries management and the economic development of countries in the Indian Ocean.

KEY WORDS: Climate variability · ENSO · Tuna fisheries · Seychelles economy

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Cite this article as: Robinson J, Guillotreau P, Jiménez-Toribio R, Lantz F and others (2010) Impacts of climate variability on the tuna economy of Seychelles. Clim Res 43:149-162.

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