Regional Trends

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Panama's Executive Decree No. 486 of 28 December 2010 prohibits longline vessels of over 6 Net Registered Tonnage from operating in Panama'’'s Economic Exclusive Zone.

However, statistics from the National Authority for Natural Resources and Fisheries (ARAP) indicates an increasing trend of longline fishing licenses, especially for converted shrimp trawlers that no longer operate in the shrimp fisheries due to decreased shrimp productivity

Number of longline fishing license vs. the number of shrimp trawler licenses during the 2000's 


Due to a lack of data, a formal stock assessment of sailfish in the Eastern Pacific is impossible. Without an assessment, the level of exploitation and abundance is unknown. Other means of examining the health of the stock must be explored.

Overexploitation of a species can be signaled by a decrease in trophy size over time as the largest individuals are selectively removed. 

Historic effect of decreased abundance due to exploitation of Sailfish on average trophy size in recreational fisheries


Historic trend of Sailfish relative abundance in the Puerto Vallarta fish tournaments are indicative of a declining Sailfish stock. Such trend correlates with the increase number of tuna purse seine operations in the region.


Historic trophy size decrease in Puerto Vallarta billfish tournaments


Landings of Sailfish by Costa Rican coastal longliners


Landings of billfish (Sailfish, Black marlin and Blue marlin) by Costa Rican coastal longliners