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Profile updated on 14 December 2023





Thunnus albacares


Yellowfin tuna

Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares ) is considered a single population in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) for stock assessment purposes (Vincent et al. 2020 and references cited therein). However, there is still uncertainty about the stock structure along the Pacific Ocean (Aguila et al. 2015). Regular stock assessment is developed by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and the same entity sets conservation and management measures for this stock in this region.

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) is a regional binding treaty-level instrument to facilitate cooperation in the management of fisheries resources of common interest. The agreement requires the management of straddling/highly migratory fish stocks on a subregion basis through Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), and the WCPFC Convention (the regional fisheries agreement covering the WCPFC convention area). PNA members are simultaneously members of the WCPFC and so, a single management unit is set for PNA-related profiles. The PNA unassociated (free school) fishery was MSC-certified in 2011.


  • Stock assessment is developed regularly and, the most recent (2020) concludes that the yellowfin Tuna stock in the WCPO region was not overfished and was not experiencing overfishing (Vincent et al. 2020).
  • Several bycatch mitigation and monitoring measures for sea turtles and seabirds are in place in the Hawaii deep-set longline fishery targeting tunas, including several gear requirements and ~20% on-board observer coverage. This suite of regulations and measures to address ETP bycatch is virtually unparalleled in commercial fisheries globally. In addition, the US is a member of both the WCPFC and IATTC, and is thus obligated to comply with several conservation measures in place in those RFMOs that address ETP bycatch.


Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 8