Updated ISSF Report Rates State of Tuna Stocks Worldwide
Of the total commercial tuna catch worldwide, 87.6% of the global catch continues to be sourced from stocks at “healthy” levels of abundance, according to the newest Status of the Stocks report. In addition, 9.6% of the total tuna catch came from overfished stocks, and 2.8% came from stocks at an intermediate level of abundance. This is the second update to this report since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic started to impact the work of regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs).
Several tuna stocks worldwide are considered overfished and/or subject to overfishing:
- The Atlantic Ocean bigeye, Indian Ocean yellowfin and Pacific bluefin tuna stocks continue to be overfished and subject to overfishing.
- Indian Ocean albacore and bigeye continue to be subject to overfishing.
- All skipjack and most albacore stocks remain healthy.
ISSF publishes its signature Status of the Stocks report twice each year using the most current scientific data on 23 major commercial tuna stocks.
Interactive Stock Status
Use our interactive tool to visualize data from the Status report:
- View trends in tuna stock health since 2011, filtered by species and ocean location, and based on catch or stock, and on stock abundance or fishing mortality
- View the species composition of the total tuna catch — including catch percentages by fishing method — in different ocean locations, based on the most recent data
Closing the Data Gap
The difficulty of obtaining reliable data, which vary across species, fleets, and regions, is a challenge for stock-assessment scientists in advising fisheries managers how to optimally manage tuna stocks.
Dr. Simon Hoyle, a scientist for the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in New Zealand, developed a way to assess tuna stocks by catch-per-unit-of-effort, or CPUE. He first developed CPUE indices for tuna stock assessments in 2005. Since 2015, he has been developing joint longline indices in collaboration with scientists from distant water fishing nations.
Read his “Closing the Data Gap” blog post.
More on Stock Assessment
Stock Assessment Workshop Reports
ISSF convenes periodic workshops to review Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMOs) strategies for assessing tuna stocks. Workshop topics have included uncertainty in stock assessment and the adoption of harvest control rules.
Read all five workshop reports here.About the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF)
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) — a global coalition of seafood companies, fisheries experts, scientific and environmental organizations, and the vessel community — promotes science-based initiatives for long-term tuna conservation, FAD management, bycatch mitigation, marine ecosystem health, capacity management, and illegal fishing prevention. Helping global tuna fisheries meet sustainability criteria to achieve the Marine Stewardship Council certification standard — without conditions — is ISSF's ultimate objective. To learn more, visit iss-foundation.org, and follow ISSF on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.