AboutSustainableTuna.org

Learn more about sustainable tuna and the efforts being made by leading companies to protect this important food source, including the company that produced the tuna product you recently purchased.

More than 4.8 million tonnes of tuna worldwide were caught in 2015: 58% was skipjack tuna, followed by yellowfin (28%), bigeye (8%) and albacore (5%). Bluefin tuna accounted for 1% of the global catch.

76% of the world’s tuna catch comes from stocks that are a "healthy level of abundance." Yet all tuna need protection from overfishing. Visit our site to explore the status of all tuna stocks.

Tuna Management

There are 23 commercially fished tuna stocks of skipjack, yellowfin, bigeye, albacore and bluefin. This map highlights how much tuna is fished in each ocean region. The bigger the circle, the bigger the catch.

Eastern Pacific Atlantic Ocean Indian Ocean Southern Hemisphere Western Pacific

The governments of fishing nations collectively manage all stocks of tuna. Learn about these regional management bodies or "RFMOs."

Fishing Methods

In terms of how vessels fish, 64% of the catch is made by purse seining (nets), 12% by longline vessels and 9% comes from pole-and-line vessels. The rest comes from less-common fishing gears. All fishing methods can lead to bycatch, however, and we have rated each for its environmental impact. ISSF is working with scientists and fishing experts on projects that address these challenges.

Purse seine FAD-free

This method typically results in small bycatch rates, ranging from this 0.03%-2.8% of a vessel’s catch, depending on the ocean region.*

Longline

This method has a high bycatch rate: bycatch is more than 20% of a vessel’s catch.*

Purse seine FAD

Purse seining on FADs has bycatch rates ranging from 1.75%-8.9% of a vessel’s catch, depending on the ocean region.*

Pole & Line

This method has no major concerns with the catch of vulnerable non-target species. However, this method requires the use of live baitfish, and the effects of fishing on these populations are largely unknown.

Improving Practices

No single step will create sustainable tuna fisheries. Instead, coordinated efforts over time are necessary in all oceans where tuna is fished.

Many companies in the tuna industry are committed to partnering with ISSF to make continuous improvements. We’ve also identified a series of practices or “conservation measures” that all tuna fishing vessels should be working toward implementing.

You can track the best practices of leading tuna fishing vessels right now, through our ProActive Vessel Register.

Vessel does not
discard tuna
Vessel is flagged to fishing
nation involved in tuna
management
Vessel has a unique identifier, like an IMO number
Vessel does not
transship at sea
Vessel is on an authorized vessel record
Vessel submits data
on FAD use to RFMO scientists
Vessel does not engage
in shark finning
and has an
anti-finning policy
Vessel is not found
on any IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing) list
Vessel has an
observer on board
Vessel captain has completed annual training
Vessel that uses FADs deploys nonentangling FADs


Sources:
* ISSF 2011-03: Questions and Answers about FADs and Bycatch
   The Status of the Stocks Report