Profile updated on 4 March 2021





Thunnus obesus


Bigeye tuna

Bigeye is a highly migratory species distributed throughout the tropical and sub-tropical waters of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. For the latest stock assessment performed in 2020 (Ducharme-Barth et al. 2020) a discrete stock unit within the domain of the model area (essentially the WCPO, west of 150ºW) was considered, as in previous assessments. Sensitivity analysis performed in 2015 showed that despite extensive longitudinal movements in the equatorial Pacific, the discrete stock assumption was capable of accurately capturing the dynamics and stock status indicators for WCPO bigeye tuna (Ducharme-Barth et al. 2020, and references cited therein). 


  • Bigeye tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) is managed at the international level by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). 
  • The WCPFC has recently implemented catch limits for bigeye tuna caught in longline fisheries operating within the Convention Area for the years 2014-2017. Catch limits for 2014 have been set at 70% of the average catches from 2001-2004 or from 2004 (identified in a previous WCPFC management measure (2008)). Six countries, including Indonesia have been given individual catch limits under this management measures. Prior to this, the WCPFC required a phased in reduction (10-30%) of bigeye tuna longline catches to occur between 2009-2011 (based on same average catches identified above). Catches in 2012 were under the allotted phased in catch limit. Information for 2013 is not yet available. The National Tuna Management Plan of Indonesia has been developed as a product of a joint cooperation between the Directorate General of Capture Fisheries, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia and the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). The aims of the management plan are to support the effective implementation of the tuna fisheries management in a sustainable way (MMAF and WCPFC, 2012). Indonesia has also launched a National Plan of Action for tuna, skipjack and neritic tuna in November of 2014 (MMAF 2014).


Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6

Fishers Compliance: