Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 42 (4) October 2014 (SPECIAL ISSUE)
A review and analysis of Easter Island’s traditional and artisan fisheries.
Based on a review of published and unpublished reports we analyzed Rapa Nui´s (Easter Island) traditional and artisan fisheries. We include information from 2000-2009 on landings, species, fishing grounds, fleet and number of fisherfolks according to the Servicio Nacional de Pesca (SERNAPESCA) and personal communication with SERNAPESCA officials. Presently, 29 species of fishes and two invertebrates are fished (along with a group of species reported as “non-identified”), primarily from the 10 main fishing grounds within 5 nm from the shore. Sporadic fishing trips reach areas up to 25 nm offshore. Statistics about the artisan fleet and number of operative fishers is spotty and unreliable. In 2011 SERNAPESCA reported 123 artisan fishers and 31 boats for the island. Landings occur in five coves, of which Hanga Piko and Hanga Roa are the most important. Between 2000-2009 the mean annual landing ranged between 109-171 ton. The main exploited resources during this period were yellowfin tuna, snoek, Pacific rudderfin, rainbow runner, glasseye, oilfish, deep-water jack and swordfish. We highlight the urgent need to improve fisheries statistics (catch, effort, fishing grounds) in order to develop a science-fishery management and conservation plan, particularly linked with artisan fishery activities. Globally, we identify the need to integrate across fields (i.e., ecology, conservation, fisheries, education, outreach) more broadly in the national research system, to improve the management and conservation of Easter Island’s unique marine environment. Within this framework, we identify an urgent need to create a research marine station on the island with permanent personnel, which can focus on this fragile oligotrophic ecosystem.
Author: Juan Carlos Castilla, Eleuterio Yáñez, Claudio Silva & Miriam Fernández

© 2015 Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research