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). 
  • Fishing permits, logbooks and observer programs are in place to monitor compliance and bycatch issues. The observer program coverage rate is much higher than the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission mandated 5%. Interactions with sea turtles, sea birds and marine mammals have been minimized (~80% reduction) through bycatch mitigation measures. Catch limits for bigeye tuna in longline fisheries have recently been put into place.


Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 8