An application of satellite-derived sea surface temperatures to southern bluefin tuna and albacore off Tasmania, Australia


Reddy, Ratna; Lyne, Vincent; Gray, Randall; Easton, Alan K.; Clarke, Stephen R.

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This paper examines the relationship between thermal features from satellite imagery and reported catches of tuna off eastern Tasmania. The satellite data is in the form of sea surface temperature (SST) obtained from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite using an Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensor. The fishery data is the catch of southern bluefin tuna and albacore for the Japanese longline tuna fishery off the Tasmanian coast. The winter fishing seasons for May to July 1991 and 1992 are considered in detail. The study focuses on the relationship between southern bluefin tuna and albacore and the occurrence of warm core eddies and thermal fronts. In 1991 a persistent mesoscale eddy was observed using the NOAA-11/AVHRR infrared data. In 1992 there was no similar eddy structure but a strong thermal front occurred. Southern bluefin tuna and albacore catches tend to occur at the location of the eddy and thermal fronts. An algorithm that identifies the edges of thermal fronts proved to be a good predictor of the location of productive fishing areas.

Publication year


Publication type

Journal article


Scientia Marina, Vol. 59, no. 3-Apr (1995), pp. 445-454




Institut de Ciencies del Mar de Barcelona


Copyright © 1995 Paper is reproduced with the permission of the publisher.