Last updated on 5 April 2017

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Thunnus albacares

SPECIES NAME(s)

Yellowfin tuna

Yellowfin tuna are considered a single population in the western and central Pacific Ocean for stock assessment purposes. There is the potential for some mixing between eastern and western stocks to occur(Davies et al. 2014).

This fishery improvement project is for FSM longline fishery for bigeye and yellowfin tuna in FSM EEZ waters (https://sites.google.com/site/fsmlonglinefip/).


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • Yellowfin tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean are managed at the international level by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
  • The Secretariat of the Pacific Community conducts regular assessments of tuna and tuna-like species.
  • The biomass is above target levels and fishing mortality rates are sustainable.
  • There are limit reference points in place for this species.

The biomass is above target levels and fishing mortality rates are sustainable. The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has 5% observer coverage, in line with Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) mandated coverage levels.

Weaknesses
  • In recent years, there has been an increased lack of transparency with regard to the WCPFC decision making process.
  • Significant amounts of juvenile yellowfin tuna are caught in fish aggregating device (FAD)-based purse seining fisheries.
  • No harvest control rule is imposed and there are no target reference points.
  • Timely submissions and data accuracy from some member countries, including Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, has been identified as an issue by the WCPFC Scientific Committee.
  • Mandated observer coverage rates by the WCPFC in the longline fishery is low (5%) compared to other fisheries (i.e. purse seine, 100%) and many fleets still do not reach this threshold.
  • Bycatch of ecologically important species such as sharks, sea turtles and sea birds continues to be a problem in many fisheries targeting yellowfin tuna.

No harvest control rule is imposed and there are no target reference points. Several depleted species (oceanic whitetip and silky sharks) are caught as bycatch. Information on interactions with PET species is not readily available.FSM’s Tuna Management Plan (TMP) has been found to be out of date and there are issues with timely and accurate submission of data.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 6

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

9.5

Future Health:

8.8


RECOMMENDATIONS

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN
  • Work with WCPFC Members, Cooperating Non-Members, and Participating Territories to: 
    • Implement catch limits to prevent harvest from increasing beyond 2012 levels.
    • Develop and implement comprehensive, precautionary harvest strategies with specific timelines for all tuna stocks, including the adoption and implementation of limit and target reference points, harvest control rules, monitoring strategies, operational objectives, performance indicators, and management strategy evaluation.
    • Strengthen compliance processes and make information on non-compliance public and continue to provide evidence of compliance with all WCPFC Conservation and Management Measures in a timely manner.
    • Implement a 100% observer coverage requirement for at-sea transshipment activities, as well as other measures that ensure transshipment activity is transparent and well-managed, and that all required data are collected and transmitted to the appropriate bodies in a timely manner.
    • Increase compliance with the mandatory minimum 5% longline observer coverage rates by identifying and correcting non-compliance.
    • Implement a 100% observer coverage requirement – human and/or electronic – within five years for longline fisheries.  Adopt a 100% observer coverage requirement for purse seine vessels where it is not already required and require the use of the best-available observer safety equipment, communications and procedures.
    • Adopt effective measures for the use of non-entangling FAD designs as a precautionary measure to minimize the entanglement of sharks and other non-target species, and support research on biodegradable materials and transition to their use to mitigate marine debris. 
    • More effectively implement, and ensure compliance with, existing RFMO bycatch requirements and take additional mitigation action, such as improving monitoring at sea, collecting and sharing operational-level, species-specific data, and adopting stronger compliance measures, including consequences for non-compliance for all gear types.
  • Ensure all products are traceable back to legal sources. Verify source information and full chain traceability through traceability desk audits or third party traceability certification. For fisheries without robust traceability systems in place, invest in meaningful improvements to bring the fisheries and supply chain in compliance with best practices.

FIPS

  • Federated States of Micronesia yellowfin and bigeye tuna - longline:

    Stage 5, Progress Rating A

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

Fisheries
ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Western and Central Pacific Ocean Malaysia Malaysia Hooks and lines
Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) China Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Japan Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Kiribati Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Korea, Republic of Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Marshall Islands Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Micronesia, Federated States of Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Nauru Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
New Zealand Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Palau Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Papua New Guinea Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Philippines Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Solomon Islands Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Spain Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Taiwan, Province of China Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Tuvalu Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
United States Drifting longlines
Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Vanuatu Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Viet Nam Viet Nam Drift gillnets
Drifting longlines
Hooks and lines
Longlines
Pole-lines hand operated
Trolling lines
WCPFC Australia Bottom-set longlines
Longlines
Pole-lines hand operated
Trolling lines
China Longlines
Cook Islands Drifting longlines
Longlines
Fiji Hooks and lines
Longlines
Longlines
French Polynesia Longlines
Indonesia Drifting longlines
Gillnets and entangling nets
Handlines hand operated
Hooks and lines
Longlines
Mechanized lines
Pole-lines hand operated
Purse seines
Seine nets
Unassociated purse seining
Japan Hooks and lines
Longlines
Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Kiribati Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Korea, Republic of Longlines
Marshall Islands Drifting longlines
Longlines
Pole-lines hand operated
Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Micronesia, Federated States of Longlines
Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Nauru Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
New Zealand Drifting longlines
Palau Hooks and lines
Papua New Guinea Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Philippines Drifting longlines
Handlines hand operated
Hooks and lines
Mechanized lines
Pole-lines hand operated
Solomon Islands Longlines
Pole-lines hand operated
Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Spain Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Taiwan, Province of China Longlines
Tuvalu Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
United States Longlines
Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Vanuatu Longlines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 4 October 2016

Strengths
  • Yellowfin tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean are managed at the international level by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
  • The Secretariat of the Pacific Community conducts regular assessments of tuna and tuna-like species.
  • The biomass is above target levels and fishing mortality rates are sustainable.
  • There are limit reference points in place for this species.
WCPFC
Micronesia, Federated States of
Longlines

Last updated on 2 June 2014

The biomass is above target levels and fishing mortality rates are sustainable. The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has 5% observer coverage, in line with Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) mandated coverage levels.

Weaknesses
  • In recent years, there has been an increased lack of transparency with regard to the WCPFC decision making process.
  • Significant amounts of juvenile yellowfin tuna are caught in fish aggregating device (FAD)-based purse seining fisheries.
  • No harvest control rule is imposed and there are no target reference points.
  • Timely submissions and data accuracy from some member countries, including Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, has been identified as an issue by the WCPFC Scientific Committee.
  • Mandated observer coverage rates by the WCPFC in the longline fishery is low (5%) compared to other fisheries (i.e. purse seine, 100%) and many fleets still do not reach this threshold.
  • Bycatch of ecologically important species such as sharks, sea turtles and sea birds continues to be a problem in many fisheries targeting yellowfin tuna.
WCPFC
Micronesia, Federated States of
Longlines

Last updated on 2 June 2014

No harvest control rule is imposed and there are no target reference points. Several depleted species (oceanic whitetip and silky sharks) are caught as bycatch. Information on interactions with PET species is not readily available.FSM’s Tuna Management Plan (TMP) has been found to be out of date and there are issues with timely and accurate submission of data.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 15 October 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Work with WCPFC Members, Cooperating Non-Members, and Participating Territories to: 
    • Implement catch limits to prevent harvest from increasing beyond 2012 levels.
    • Develop and implement comprehensive, precautionary harvest strategies with specific timelines for all tuna stocks, including the adoption and implementation of limit and target reference points, harvest control rules, monitoring strategies, operational objectives, performance indicators, and management strategy evaluation.
    • Strengthen compliance processes and make information on non-compliance public and continue to provide evidence of compliance with all WCPFC Conservation and Management Measures in a timely manner.
    • Implement a 100% observer coverage requirement for at-sea transshipment activities, as well as other measures that ensure transshipment activity is transparent and well-managed, and that all required data are collected and transmitted to the appropriate bodies in a timely manner.
    • Increase compliance with the mandatory minimum 5% longline observer coverage rates by identifying and correcting non-compliance.
    • Implement a 100% observer coverage requirement – human and/or electronic – within five years for longline fisheries.  Adopt a 100% observer coverage requirement for purse seine vessels where it is not already required and require the use of the best-available observer safety equipment, communications and procedures.
    • Adopt effective measures for the use of non-entangling FAD designs as a precautionary measure to minimize the entanglement of sharks and other non-target species, and support research on biodegradable materials and transition to their use to mitigate marine debris. 
    • More effectively implement, and ensure compliance with, existing RFMO bycatch requirements and take additional mitigation action, such as improving monitoring at sea, collecting and sharing operational-level, species-specific data, and adopting stronger compliance measures, including consequences for non-compliance for all gear types.
  • Ensure all products are traceable back to legal sources. Verify source information and full chain traceability through traceability desk audits or third party traceability certification. For fisheries without robust traceability systems in place, invest in meaningful improvements to bring the fisheries and supply chain in compliance with best practices.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 16 January 2018

The first assessment for yellowfin tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean was conducted in 1999, with assessments being conducted annually until 2007 and every two-three years since. The overall objectives of the assessment are to estimate population parameters, such as time series of recruitment, biomass and fishing mortality, which indicate the status of the stock and impacts of fishing on that stock. 

The 2017 assessment, similar to past assessments, used the stock assessment model and computer software known as MULTIFAN-CL. This updated assessment included a complete update of the 2014 reference model, with inputs extended for the time period 2012-2015. Catch rate series were updated using the Pacific wide longline database, a new regional structure was used and modifications to recruitment estimates were made(Tremblay-Boyer, L. et al. 2017).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 16 January 2018

The current scientific advice for yellowfin tuna is the same as recommended since the 2014 assessment (WCPFC), that catches should not be increased from 2012 levels. The WCPFC should consider measures to reduce fishing mortality from fisheries that take juveiles and measures should be implemented to maintain current spawning biomass levels until the Commission can agree on a target reference point (WCPFC 2017).

Reference Points

Last updated on 16 Jan 2018

There is currently a limit but no target reference point adopted by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission for yellowfin tuna (Tremblay-Boyer, L. et al. 2017).

ParameterValue
SBrecent/SBMSY1.37 (0.81-1.81)
Frecent/FMSY0.79 (0.58-1.13)
SBlatest/SBMSY1.38 (0.81-1.81)
MSY662,583 mt (539,200-754,400 mt)
CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 16 January 2018

The estimates of the latest (2015) and recent (2011-2014) spawning biomass are both above levels necessary to produce the maximum sustainable yield (MSY). This indicates that that the population is not overfished. Fishing mortality levels have been increasing over time but are still below levels needed to produce the maximum sustainable yield. Therefore overfishing is not occurring (Tremblay-Boyer, L. et al. 2017).

Trends

Last updated on 16 Jan 2018

The biomass of yellowfin tuna has declined over time and fishing mortality rates for juveniles and adults have increased over time (Tremblay-Boyer, L. et al. 2017). Fishing mortality rates have increased considerably on juvenile and adult fish since industrial fishing was introduced. The spawning potential has shown a slight increase in recent years, but is far below levels seen at the beginning of the time series (Tremblay-Boyer, L. et al. 2017).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 13 September 2018

Yellowfin tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean are managed by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). The most recent management measures for this species were adopted in 2017 (WCPFC 2017). These measures apply to the longline, purse seine and other surface fisheries.  The WCPFC has implemented several management measures specific to the purse seine fisheries. For purse seine fisheries, there is a three month prohibition (July, August and September) on setting on fish aggregating devices (FAD’s) for all purse seine vessels in EEZ’s and the high seas in the area between 200 N and 200 S. In addition, member nations (except Kiribati and Philippines) must iprohibit FAD fishing (deployement and service as well) during an additional two sequential months, either April-May or November-December (WCPFC 2017). Coastal CCM's must also adhere to purse seine effort limits in their EEZs (WCPFC 2017). Other CCMs (non Small Islands Developing States and Indonesia) must limit the number of purse seine vessels larger than 24 m operaring between 200 N and 200 S to the level required under CCM 2013-01 (WCPFC 2017)Member nations must have a FAD management plan in place to help reduce the capture of small bigeye and yellowfin tuans, and implementing FAD closures and discarding bigeye, skipjack or yellowfin tuna is prohibited {WCPFC 2012a}{WCPFC 2013b}{WCPFC 2016b}. In addition, member countries of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement have agreed to use a regional fishing vessel register, abide by a high seas pocket area closures, are prohibited from fishing on FAD’s, utilize a Vessel Day Scheme and retain all catch {PNA 2013}{PNA 2012} [PNA 2010}{WCPFC 2016b}{WCPFC 2016c}. 

In addition, biomass based limit reference points have been adopted by the WCPFC for yellowfin tuna and are used to determine the status of tuna populations. Target reference points are not yet in place and there are no harvest control rules (WCPFC 2017). However, the WCPFC has a working group that is currently working on identifying potential target reference points and a harvest control rule {WCPFC 2016d}.

Recovery Plans

Although there are no recovery plans in place, yellowfin tuna are included in the conservation and management measures (CMM) for tuna adopted by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC 2017).

WCPFC
Micronesia, Federated States of
Longlines

Last updated on 2 June 2014

Management of marine fisheries in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is undertaken by the National Oceanic Resources Management Authority (NORMA). A performance audit conducted in 2012, indicated that FSM’s Tuna Management Plan wass out of date. The plan was updated in 2015 and aims for the sustainable exploitation of tuna resources (NORMA and FFA 2015).. FSM is a cooperating member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and therefore abides by WCPFC management measures. For longline fisheries, WCPFC members agreed to not increase fishing effort aimed at yellowfin tuna {WCPFC 2013b}. FSM has an observer program in place that has covered 5% of the longline fleet since 2012 and has a port sampling program in place {Phillip et al. 2013}. There is also a Catch Report Program, which includes information provided by vessel captains. However, it has been suggested that data reporting (logbook) was often not completed on time, and that there was a lack of cross-checking of data {ONPA 2012}.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 4 June 2014

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) has a compliance monitoring scheme in place that assess’s members compliance with obligations, identifies areas of conservation and management that may need refinement, responds to non-compliance and monitors and resolves non-compliance issues.The Commission evaluates compliance by members annually with respect to: catch and effort limits and reporting for target species, spatial and temporal closures, observer and Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) coverage and provision of scientific data {WCPFC 2012c}. Historically, the compliance assessment process has been closed to the public and the WCPFC has no ways of addressing non-compliance {Koehler 2013}. However, in 2013, the WCPFC released information on compliance with certain management measures in it’s report from the annual Commission Meeting {WCPFC 2013b}.No TAC was set for yellowfin tuna in Western Central Pacific Ocean, so compliance cannot be calculated.

WCPFC
Micronesia, Federated States of
Longlines

Last updated on 2 June 2014

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) complies with the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) regulations including obtaining 5% observer coverage and port sampling. There is no catch limit for yellowfin tuna but the 2013 conservation and management measures call on countries not to increase fishing pressure {WCPFC 2013b}. Data is not yet available to determine FSM’s compliance with this. In 2012, FSM reported 382 t of yellowfin tuna caught by their longline fleet {Phillips et al. 2013}.

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 4 June 2014

Bycatch of seabirds, sea turtles, marine mammals and sharks in purse seine and pelagic longline tuna fisheries threatens some populations with extinction.

Yellowfin tuna are harvested with a diverse variety of gear types, from small-scale artisanal fisheries in Pacific Island and Southeast Asian waters to large, distant-water longliners and purse seiners that operate widely in equatorial and tropical waters. Purse seiners catch a wide size range of yellowfin tuna, whereas the longline fishery takes mostly adult fish (Langley et al. 2011).

A review by Birdlife International in 2007 found that 16 species of albatross and 60 species of petrel potentially overlapped WCPFC longline fisheries. This included species with IUCN classification of Critically Endangered (6), Endangered (7), Vulnerable (26) and Near Threatened (7) for both albatrosses and petrels. The remainder were classified by the IUCN as Least Concern. (Waugh 2006 in Black 2008). Analysis of albatross distribution within WCPFC waters and their overlap with longline fisheries (BirdLife International 2007, ACAP 2008) identifies that highest overlap with albatross distribution occurs in waters South of 30°S and North of around 20°N.

Historical bycatch rates for vessels fishing in Hawaiian waters have been used to model seabird bycatch in the Asian distant water fleets operating in the North Pacific (Crowder and Myers 2001). This study estimated that the Japanese fleet was likely to catch 14,540 birds per year (7,200 Laysan albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis, and 7,340 black-footed albatross, P. nigripes) and the Chinese Taipei fleet was estimated to catch 2,945 birds per year (1,630 Laysan albatross, and 1,315 black-footed albatross). These estimates cover both the WCPFC and IATTC areas. However, satellite tracking data indicates that over 90% of Laysan and 50% Black-footed Albatross distribution is within the WCPFC Convention Area (ACAP 2008).

Interactions with sea turtles also include incidental capture during longline operations, particularly when they actively take bait, or become entangled in the fishing gear. In the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) five species are generally encountered in longline fisheries, namely: green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) turtles. These species are generally long lived and reach sexual maturity at between 6-30 years old (SPC 2001 in Brouwer 2009). Large turtles have few natural predators and longline bycatch can result in high levels of fishing mortality on the large sub-adults and adults.

Kaplan (2005) in Brouwer (2009) calculated point estimates of longline bycatch based on turtle catch rates from the US Hawaii-based fleet and used effort data for the international Pacific longline fleet. His estimates suggest that in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, coastal sources lead to a 13% annual mortality rate, compared with a point estimate of 12% from longlining. In the eastern Pacific Ocean, coastal sources account for a 28% annual mortality rate, compared with a point estimate of only 5% from longlining. Others have estimated longline associated mortality to be between 17 and 27% (Aguilar et al. 1995; McCracker 2000 in Brouwer 2009).

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)has adopted several management measures to protect vulnerable bycatch species.For example, WCPFCmembers are asked to implement the International Plan of Action for Reducing Incidental Catches of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries.Vessels fishing north of 23N in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) are required to use at least two mitigation measures including at least one of the following: side setting, night setting, tori line or weighted branch line.Members must submit annual reports detailing the mitigation measures used and are encouraged to undertake additional mitigation research {WCPFC 2012a}.Members of the WCPFC are also to implement the FAO Guidelines to Reduce Sea Turtle Mortality in Fishing Operations. Proper handling and release guidelines should be used when hard-shell turtles are incidentally captured and longline vessels must carry line cutters and de-hookers to allow for the safe handling and release of turtles.Longline fisheries are also urged to research mitigation techniques such as the use of circle hooks {WCPFC 2008}.In addition, fisheries observers (5% required level) record and report interactions with seabirds and turtles {WCPFC 2012b}{WCPFC 2008}.

Purse seine vessels in the western and central Pacific Ocean are prohibited from setting on a school of tuna with a whale shark, although members that fish north of 30N can implement this measure or a comparable measure.If a whale shark is incidentally encircled, the vessel must take reasonable steps to ensure its safe release and report the incident.However, these measures will not become mandatory until January 1, 2014 {WCPFC 2012d}.

WCPFC
Micronesia, Federated States of
Longlines

Last updated on 2 June 2014

Information on the incidental capture of PET species by the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) longline fleet has not been reported in annual reports provided to the WCPFC. There is an observer program in place (5% coverage since 2012) but information is not readily available. There are 11 species of marine mammals and 34 species of sea birds, including the black-footed albatross currently listed as Endangered by the IUCN, and Laysan albatross, Stejneger’s and white-necked petrels, which are currently listed as Vulnerable that can be found in FSM waters. In addition four species of sea turtles, olive ridley (Endangered), leatherback (Critically Endangered), green turtle (Endangered) and hawksbill (Critically Endangered) found in FSM waters {Anonymous 2009}.

FSM is a members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and must comply with their measures. The WCPFC has adopted several management measures to protect vulnerable bycatch species. For example, WCPFC members are asked to implement the International Plan of Action for Reducing Incidental Catches of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries. Vessels fishing north of 23N in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) and eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) are required to use at least two mitigation measures including at least one of the following: side setting, night setting, tori line or weighted branch line. Members must submit annual reports detailing the mitigation measures used and are encouraged to undertake additional mitigation research {WCPFC 2012a}. Members of the WCPFC are also to implement the FAO Guidelines to Reduce Sea Turtle Mortality in Fishing Operations. Proper handling and release guidelines should be used when hard-shell turtles are incidentally captured and longline vessels must carry line cutters and de-hookers to allow for the safe handling and release of turtles. Longline fisheries are also urged to research mitigation techniques such as the use of circle hooks {WCPFC 2008b}. In addition, fisheries observers record and report interactions with seabirds and turtles {WCPFC 2012a}{WCPFC 2008b}. FSM is complying with seabird specific management measures {WCPFC 2013c}.

Other Species

Last updated on 16 January 2018

The western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) longlines fisheries that capture bigeye tuna also catch a number of other species of fish, including billfish and other tuna species, and sharks (Molony 2005). The status of these species and the impact of this fishery on them varies greatly and is often times unknown. Examples of commonly other commonly captured species include blue, black and striped marlin, swordfish, dolphinfish, opah, and oceanic, silky, blue and shortfin mako sharks {OFP 2012}{{Molony 2007}.

Purse seine sets on anchored and drifting Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) and natural floating objects (logs, flotsam) is widespread, with about half of tropical tuna catches coming from FAD sets (Fonteneau et al., 2000). FAD sets have high catch rates of small and juvenile bigeye and yellowfin tunas and unmarketable species and sizes of other fish species relative to unassociated sets (i.e. Fonteneau et al., 2000). Networks of thousands of artificial drifting and anchored FADs aggregate tunas from surrounding waters and possibly act as ‘ecological traps’ of pelagic species by altering their natural spatial and temporal distributions, habitat associations, migration patterns and residence times (i.e. Marsac et al., 2000; Bromhead et al., 2003;).

Smaller swordfish are often discarded in pelagic longline tuna fisheries due to minimum size requirements or low market value (Cramer, 2003, Ward et al. 2008).

There are extremely low bycatch levels in pole-and-line fisheries, where bycatch that does occur generally consists of juvenile kawakawa tuna (Euthynnus affinis), frigate mackerel (Auxis rochei), mahimahi (Coryphaena hippurus), and rainbow runner (Elagatis bupinnulata). Discards are believed to have high post release survival rates due to the use of barbless hooks and flick-off practices (FAO, 1997). However, concern over bycatch of reef fish and juvenile classes of target species in baitfish fisheries that supply live bait to pole-and-line fisheries has been raised, as have other ecological issues (ecosystem effects of removal of baitfish species, overexploitation of target baitfish species, habitat degradation) and socioeconomic issues (food security impacts with coastal communities) (FAO, 2008; Gillett, 2010). .

Members of the WCPFC are prohibited from retaining, transshipping, storing or landing oceanic whitetip sharks and any incidentally caught sharks should be released, the incident recorded and reported {WCPFC 2012e}. Members are also to implement the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks and National Plans of Action should have policies in place to reduce waste and discarding of sharks. Information on catch and effort for key species is to be reported and shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010b}. In the South Pacific, the WCPFC limited the number of vessels targeting swordfish and catches to levels from any year between 2000 and 2005 and required this information to be reported to the Commission {WCPFC 2009}.

WCPFC
Micronesia, Federated States of
Longlines

Last updated on 2 June 2014

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has had 5% observer coverage aboard longline vessels since 2012, prior to this the coverage rate was less than 1% {FSM 2012}. This fishery also reports the following species were captured between 2008 and 2012: blue and black marlin, striped marlin and swordfish. Other tuna species included bigeye (68%), and albacore (3%). The overall bycatch rate in 2012 was 13%. Information on sharks bycatch was not indicated in 2012. However, previously blue, (83%), silky (11%), oceanic whitetip (4%), thresher (2%) were identified as incidentally captured in this fishery {FSM 2012}. Silky and oceanic whitetip sharks are overfished and undergoing overfishing {Rice and Harley 2012a,b}.

As cooperating members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), FSM must comply with their management measures. Members of the WCPFC are prohibited from retaining, transshipping, storing or landing oceanic whitetip sharks and any incidentally caught sharks should be released, the incident recorded and reported {WCPFC 2012b}. Members are also to implement the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks and National Plans of Action should have policies in place to reduce waste and discarding of sharks. Information on catch and effort for key species is to be reported and shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010}. In addition, a phased reduction in catches of striped marlin in the North Pacific began in 2010, and was scheduled to run through 2012, resulting in an 80% reduction of 2000-2003 levels. Individual countries were to identify ways to accomplish this {WCPFC 2010b. Member countries were also to limit the number of fishing vessels targeting swordfish to levels from any year between 2000 and 2005 {WCPFC 2009}. It is unclear if FSM has complied with the swordfish measure {WCPFC 2013c}. No striped marlin have been caught in recent years {Phillip et al. 2013}.

HABITAT

Last updated on 17 November 2010

Primary gear used to catch yellowfin tuna, including purse seine, pelagic longline and pole-and-line gear, do not come in direct contact with the seafloor. Lost and discarded gear can damage coastal habitats.

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 17 Nov 2010

WCPFC has a time/area closure on purse seine sets on FADs and other floating objects by purse seine vessels for three months annually in the area bounded by 20ºN and 20ºS (WCPFC, 2008a, 2009a).In 2008, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, a regional agreement establishing terms and conditions for foreign access to the Exclusive Economic Zones of eight Pacific Island Countries, closed to purse seine fishing two areas of high seas international waters that are enclosed by the Parties’ domestic waters (PNA, 2008).

FishSource Scores

Last updated on 26 February 2018

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2016 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

The management strategy is assessed to not be precautionary because the regional fisheries management organization has not adopted a total allowable catch or target reference point. However, there is an input control rule for purse seiners, but there are no harvest control rules. Few changes were made to the 2014 tropical tuna CMM.

As calculated for 2016 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

All key recommendations made by the Scientific Committee (i.e not increasing fishing mortality rates) have not been taken into account.

As calculated for 2016 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

The Scientific Committee recommended that fishing mortality not increase. Catches increased in 2012 but did decline again in 2013.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 9.5.

This measures the Ratio SSB/SSBmsy as a percentage of the SSB=SSBmsy.

The Ratio SSB/SSBmsy is 1.37 . The SSB=SSBmsy is 1.00 .

The underlying Ratio SSB/SSBmsy/SSB=SSBmsy for this index is 137%.

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 8.8.

This measures the Ratio F/Fmsy as a percentage of the F management target.

The Ratio F/Fmsy is 0.790 . The F management target is 1.00 .

The underlying Ratio F/Fmsy/F management target for this index is 79.0%.

To see data for biomass, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for fishing mortality, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.
DATA NOTES

F and SSB is provided relative to MSY (F/FMSY, SB/SBMSY) and reference points have been set accordingly. B20% or Blrp is not defined and there is no set TAC. Therefore, Score 1, 2 and 3 cannot be calculated and have been determined qualitatively. Catches are taken from WCPFC 2017 annual catch report (WCPFC 2017).

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

SELECT FIP

Access FIP Public Report

Progress Rating: A
Evaluation Start Date: 2 Jun 2014
Type: Comprehensive

Comments:

FIP rating remains A with stage 4/5 progress over the past 12 months.

1.
FIP Development
Apr 18
2.
FIP Launch
Jan 16
Jan 16
3.
FIP Implementation
May 18
4.
Improvements in Fishing Practices and Fishery Management
May 18
5.
Improvements on the Water
Apr 18
6.
MSC certification (optional)
MSC certificate made public

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits

Davies, N., Harley, S., Hampton, J. and McKechnie, S. 2014. Stock assessment of yellowfin tuna in the Western and Central pacific Ocean. WCPFC-SC10-2014/SA-WP-04.

Fonteneau, A., Ariz, J., Gaertner, D., Nordstrom, V. and Pallares, P. 2000. Observed changes in the species composition of tuna schools in the Gulf of Guinea between 1981 to 1999, in relation with the fish aggregating device fishery. Aquatic and Living Resources 13:253-257.

French Polynesia (FP). 2017. Annual report to the Commission Part 1: Information on Fisheries, Research and Statistics. WCPFC-SC-13-AR//CCM-08. Availalbe at: https://www.wcpfc.int/system/files/AR-CCM-08%20FRENCH%20POLYNESIA%20PART%201_0.pdf

Gillett, R. 2010. Replacing Purse Seining with Pole-and-Line Fishing in the Western Pacific: Some Aspects of the Baitfish Requirements. International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, Washington, D.C., USA.

Harley, S.J., Davies N. 2011. Evaluation of stock status of bigeye, skipjack and yellowfin tunas against potential limit reference points, Scientific Committee seventh regular session, 9-17 August 2011, WCPFC-SC7-2011/MI-WP-04, 16 pp.

Langley, A., Hoyle, S., Hampton, J. 2011. Stock assessment of yellowfin tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, Scientific Committee Seventh Regular Session, 9-17 August 2011, WCPFC-SC7-2011/SA- WP-03, 135 pages.

Marine Turtle Specialist Group. 1996. Caretta caretta. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened
Species. Version 2012.2.

MMAF. 2012. National Tuna Management Plan. West Pacific East Asia Oceanic Fisheries Management. November 2012. Available at: http://www.wcpfc.int/west-pacific-east-asiaoceanic-fisheries-management-plan.

NORMA and FFA. 2015. Management plan on tuna fisheries for the Federated States of Micronesia. National Oceanic Resources Management Authroity and the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency. Available at: https://spccfpstore1.blob.core.windows.net/digitallibrary-docs/files/9b/9b2a55823fe6a023adb4d0ef344e1dbf.pdf?sv=2015-12-11&sr=b&sig=fjpvcEVvDSyBLUhqezlkyfPyDe6yvsoB5nuC3Qz18co%3D&se=2017-08-29T21%3A40%3A43Z&sp=r&rscc=public%2C%20max-age%3D864000%2C%20max-stale%3D86400&rsct=application%2Fpdf&rscd=inline%3B%20filename%3D%22Anon_2015_FSM_Tuna_Management_Plan.pdf%22

Rice, J. and S. Harley. 2012a. Stock assessment of silky sharks in the western and central Pacific Ocean.
Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, Scientific Committee Eighth Regular Session, 7-15
August 2012. WCPFC-SC8-2012/SA-WP07 Rev 1. Available online http://www.wcpfc.int/node/4587

Rice, J. and S. Harley. 2012b. Stock assessment of oceanic whitetip in the western and central Pacific
Ocean. Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, Scientific Committee Eighth Regular Session,
7-15 August 2012. WCPFC-SC8-2012/SA-WP06 Rev 1.

Sarti Martinez, A.L. (Marine Turtle Specialist Group) 2000. Dermochelys coriacea. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN
Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. .

Satria, F., Mahiswara, A. Widodo A., L. Sadiyah, and S. Tampubolon. 2011. Indonesia national report to
the Scientific Committee of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, 2011. IOTC-2011-SC14-NR10.

Scott, R.D., Pilling, G.M. and Harley, S.J. 2015. Short-term stochastic projections for skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye tuna. WCPFC-SC11-2015/SA-WP-04. http://www.wcpfc.int/system/files/SA-WP-04-%5Bstochastic_projections%5D.pdf

Seminoff, J.A. (Southwest Fisheries Science Center, U.S.) 2004. Chelonia mydas. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red
List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2.

Ward, R.D., Elliott, N.G., Innes, B.H., Smolenski, A.J., Grewe, P.M. 1997. Global population structure of yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares, inferred from allozyme and mitochondrial DNA variation, Fishery Bulletin 95: 566-575 http://fishbull.noaa.gov/953/ward.pdf

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). 2008. Conservation and management of sea turtles. Conservation and Management Measure 2008-03. Fifth Regular Session, 8-12 December 2008, Busan, Korea. WCPFC-CMM-2008-03.pdf

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). 2009. Conservation and management for swordfish. Sixth Regular Session, Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia, 7-11 December 2009. http://www.wcpfc.int/system/files/CMM%202009-03%20%5BSwordfish%5D.pdf

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). 2010. Conservation and management measure for North Pacific striped marlin. Seventh Regular Session, Honolulu, HI, 6-10 December 2010. http://www.wcpfc.int/system/files/CMM%202010-01%20%5BNorth%20Pacific%20Striped%20Marlin%5D.pdf

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). 2010b. Conservation and management measure for sharks. Conservation and Management Measure 2010-07. Seventh Regular Session, Honolulu, HI, 6-12 December 2010.

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). 2012a. Conservation and management measure to mitigate the impact of fishing for highly migratory fish stocks on seabirds. Conservation and Management Measure 2012-07. Commission Ninth Regular Session, Manila, Philippines, 2-6 December 2012. WCPFC-CMM-2012-07.pdf

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). 2012c. Conservation and management measure for bigeye, yellowfin and skipjack tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. Conservation and Management Measure 2012-01. Commission Ninth Regular Session, Manila, Philippines, 2-6 December 2012.

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). 2012d. Conservation and management measure for protection of whale sharks from purse seine fishing operations. Conservation and Management Measure 2012-04. Commission Ninth Regular Session, Manila, Philippines, 2-6 December 2012.

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). 2012e. Conservation and management measure for oceanic whitetip shark. Conservation and Management Measure 2011-04. Eighth Regular Session, Tumon, Guam, 26-30 March 2011.

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). 2013. Conservation and management measure for bigeye, yellowfin and skipjack tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. Conservation and Management Measure 2013-01. Tenth regular session, December 2-6, 2013, Cairns Australia.

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). 2013b. Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. Tenth Regular Session, Cairns, Australia, 2-6 December, 2013. Available at: http://www.wcpfc.int/system/files/WCPFC%2010%20FINAL%20RECORD_0.pdf

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). 2013c. Estimates of annual catches in the WCPO statistical area. WCPFC-SC9-2013/ST IP-1
http://www.wcpfc.int/system/files/ST-IP-01-Annual-Catch-Estimates.pdf

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). 2014. Scientific Committee Tenth Regular Session, summary report. Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands 6-14, August 2014. https://www.wcpfc.int/system/files/0_SC10%20Summary%20Report%20-%20Adopted%20Version%20-%2021Aug2014%20%28Rev.3.5%2C%20t-c%29_1.pdf

WCPFC. 2016. WCPFC 13 Outcomes Document. Circular No. 2016/73. Decebmer 21, 2016. http://www.wcpfc.int/system/files/WCPFC%20Circular%202016-73%20WCPFC13%20Outcomes%20document.%2021%20December%202016.pdf

WCPFC. 2016b. Conservation and Management Measure for bigeye, yellowfin and skipjack tuna in the Western adn Central Pacific Ocean. Conservation and Management Measure 2016-01. http://www.wcpfc.int/system/files/Att%20O_CMM%202016-01%20CMM%20for%20Bigeye%20Yellowfin%20and%20Skipjack%20Tuna_p_1.pdf

WCPFC. 2016c. Conservation and Management Measure for the Eastern High Seas Pocket Special Management Area. Conservation and Management Measure 2016-02. http://www.wcpfc.int/system/files/Att%20K_CMM%202016-02%20CMM%20for%20EHSP-SMA_p.pdf

WCPFC. 2016d. Reference document for the development of harvest strategies under CMM 2014-06. WCPFC13-2016-11A. http://www.wcpfc.int/system/files/WCPFC13-2016-11A%20%5BReference%20document%20for%20Harvest%20Strategy%5D.pdf

References

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