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We have updated the Sustainability pages in our 6 tuna species profiles in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Check out the profile pages to get the current situation.

  • Skipjack tuna: Essentially unchanged status since previous reviews.
  • Yellowfin tuna: Unchanged status, and concerns for the state of the Indian Ocean stock remains; for Western and Central Pacific Ocean stock, fishing pressure is considered heavy and little or no room for greater effort; environmental concerns due to bycatch remain for several fishing gears.
  • Bigeye tuna: The latest assessment for the Western and Central Pacific Ocean stock is that it is not overfished but concern is expressed as the stock is in a more depleted state than other stocks in this region.. Several fishing gears cause bycatch problems. Check out our new pages on bigeye tuna  Production and Supply Chains & Markets.
  • Albacore tuna: None of the three stocks (Northern Pacific Ocean, Southern Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean) are considered overfished but concern is expressed at the fishing pressure on the Norther Pacific Ocean stock. Check out our new pages on albacore tuna Production and Supply Chains & Markets.
  • Longtail tuna: Stock assessments and catch data are incomplete and concern has been expressed over the status of the stocks . Recent assessments consider the stocks both overfished and that  overfishing is occurring. This species is within the management mandate of the IOTC but not the WCPFC.
  • Pacific bluefin tuna:  This stock is considered overfished and overfishing is occurring. The rebuilding plan will be kept under more constant review from 2019.

Once again, a big debt is owed to the stock assessment experts and reviewers associated with regional fisheries management and technical organisations (SPC, WCPFC, IOTC, ISC, IATTC and the national body members of committees) and to the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation for its regularly updated overviews of stock status (see the latest Stock Status Report at: https://iss-foundation.org/about-tuna/status-of-the-stocks/

Photo (above): Workers inspect new cans for tuna at Solomon Islands cannery, c 2009. Photo: Amanda Hamilton.

In recent years, international meetings on managing the Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) and seafood auctions for this species have sparked headlines, such as those below, advocating urgent action to reduce overfishing or exclaiming at the astronomical prices for a single large fish.

The fishery for Pacific bluefin tuna is in serious trouble, more so than for any other tuna, even the other bluefin tuna stocks (for a summary, see the ISSF Status of the Stocks Report). The wild population of Pacific bluefin tuna is officially overfished, and overfishing is still going on.

 PBT-media-headlines-collage

 
AsiaPacific-FishWatch has produced an authoritative profile of Pacific bluefin tuna that will help you navigate the complex profile of this species. We cover its stock status, how it is produced from fishing, ranching and closed life-cycle aquaculture, what we know about who produces it, and how its eaten, as well as it basic biology and how it is affected by the environment and climate. The profile has been developed and reviewed by experts.

Here are some key facts from our Pacific bluefin tuna profile, although much remains to be understood about this species. Please visit the whole profile on this link:

  • Pacific bluefin tuna is economically and ecologically important due to its high market value and its role as a large predator in pelagic ecosystems. It is highly migratory and very widely distributed in the Pacific Ocean, seasonally inhabiting subarctic, temperate, and tropical waters in the North Pacific Ocean, and temperate waters in the south around Australia and New Zealand. It also undertakes large vertical movements.
  • Pacific bluefin tuna has only one stock and spawning has only been recorded in the north western Pacific Ocean. It is the second largest of all the tunas. Only the Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) is larger. Until 1999, Pacific and Atlantic Bluefin tuna were considered the same species.
  • About 14,000 tonnes is caught from the wild per year, most in the Western Pacific Ocean. Many of the smaller Pacific bluefin tuna are caught live in coastal waters, and taken to coastal cages in Japan and Mexico, and grown out, adding weight and value to the wild catch. In 2002 in Japan, the life cycle was closed in captivity and a small amount of production now comes from full aquaculture. Pacific bluefin tuna is caught both as targeted catch and as non-targeted bycatch, by many different fishing methods, including by several types of small-scale Japanese fisheries.
  • Pacific bluefin tuna is managed jointly by two tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMO), namely the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and their country members. Given the concerns for the status of the stock and its fisheries, environmental non-government organizations have campaigned for much stronger catch restrictions.
  • The Pacific bluefin tuna stock is assessed as overfished and subject to overfishing. The 2016 stock assessment from the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC) estimated that the spawning stock biomass was 2.6% of its estimated unfished level.
  • Pacific bluefin tuna is a most prized commodity in the sashimi market.
  • Under global climate change predictions, the relative abundance, spatial distribution ranges, and predator-prey dynamics in food webs of Pacific bluefin tuna are expected to change in response to altered oceanographic regimes that govern life cycle and seasonal movements.

The profiles have been written by Victoria Jollands and peer reviewed by many experts. Information has been drawn from peer reviewed sources which are given for each page of the profile. See Contributors and Reviewers for details and acknowledgements.

Friday, 24 February 2017 05:52

Pacific bluefin tuna

This FAO image is for Thunnus thynnus (Atlantic bluefin tuna), a species that is difficult to distinguish from T. orientalis by external features alone.

 

This FAO image is for Thunnus thynnus (Atlantic bluefin tuna), a species that is difficult to distinguish from T. orientalis by external features alone (see BIOLOGY).

Scientific Name:
Thunnus orientalis

Authority:
Temminck & Schlegel 1844

Common Name:
Pacific bluefin tuna

Sunday, 29 November 2015 23:34

Longtail Tuna

Scientific Name:
Thunnus tonggol

Authority:
Bleeker 1851

Common Name:
Longtail Tuna

Saturday, 21 February 2015 05:55

Albacore Tuna

Scientific Name:
Thunnus alalunga

Authority:
Bonnaterre 1788

Common Name:
Albacore Tuna

Monday, 14 April 2014 07:32

Bigeye Tuna

Scientific Name:
Thunnus obesus

Authority:
Lowe, 1839

Common Name:
Bigeye Tuna

Thursday, 10 April 2014 18:36

Yellowfin Tuna

01-sco thu alb pri 2497 1 FAO

FAO Species Fact Sheet
http://www.fao.org/fishery/species/2497/en

Scientific Name:
Thunnus albacares

Authority:
Bonnaterre 1788

Common Name:
Yellowfin Tuna

Monday, 30 September 2013 16:56

Species

Finfish

Finfish

Available species and species in preparation:

 

Crustaceans (In preparation)


Molluscs (In preparation)


Echinoderms (In preparation)


Plants (In preparation)

 

 
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 20:13

Partners

The following organisations have been involved in different ways in planning and developing AsiaPacific-FishWatch. Detailed acknowledgments of all contributions and contributors are provided for each species presentation.

 

Institutional sponsor

Asia Fisheries Society - www.asianfisheriessociety.org

Institutions and Roles

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Australia) – provider of content - www.csiro.au

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – provider of content - www.fao.org

Forum Fisheries Agency – initial planning meeting - www.ffa.int

Indian Ocean Tuna Commission – provider of content - www.iotc.org

International Seafood Sustainability Foundation – funding support for tuna presentations, Scientific Advisory Committee review - iss-foundation.org

Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (Indonesia) – initial planning meeting support - www.kkp.go.id

National Atmospheric and Oceanic Authority (United States of America) – funding support for initial planning meeting, initial planning meeting - www.fishwatch.gov

Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific – initial planning meeting - www.enaca.org

Secretariat for the Pacific Community – initial planning meeting, species reviewers, provider of images - www.spc.int

Shanghai Ocean University (China) – initial planning meeting - eng.shou.edu.cn

Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center – initial planning meeting - www.seafdec.org

University Putra Malaysia (Malaysia) – initial planning meeting, secretariat support to AsiaPacificFishWatch project and Asian Fisheries Society - www.upm.edu.my

Meryl J Williams – conceptual developer, initiator and director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sunday, 18 August 2013 16:02

Skipjack Tuna

Scientific Name:
Katsuwonus pelamis

Authority:
Linnaeus 1758

Common Name:
Skipjack Tuna

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