Last updated on 31 July 2017

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Thunnus alalunga

SPECIES NAME(s)

Albacore

Lewis (1990) and Jones (1991), based on several studies, defend the existence of a discrete stock of Albacore in the South Pacific Ocean (Murray, 1991; Hoyle et al, 2011).


ANALYSIS

Strengths

Albacore tuna populations in the South Pacific are healthy and fishing mortality levels are likely sustainable. The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission has taken action to limit the number of fishing vessels targeting albacore. There is a limit reference point in place.

Weaknesses

Although the population as a whole is considered healthy, there is the possibility that localized depletion’s have occurred. Scientific advice has been that managers pay attention to longline catches and catch rate trends from the past ten years. Several depleted species, such as sea turtles, sharks and sea birds, can be caught in longline fisheries targeting albacore. Best-practices bycatch mitigation methods have not been adopted for all of these species and longline observer coverage rates are low (5%). there are no target reference points in place and no harvest control rule.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6 to ≥ 8

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6 to ≥ 8

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 6 to ≥ 10

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

≥ 8

Future Health:

10


RECOMMENDATIONS

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN
  • Work with Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) Members, Cooperating Non-Members, and Participating Territories to: 
    • 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 and IATTCConservation 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

  • Pacific tuna - longline:

    Stage 4, Progress Rating A

CERTIFICATIONS

  • AAFA and WFOA South Pacific albacore tuna:

    MSC Recertified

  • Fiji albacore tuna longline:

    MSC Certified

  • New Zealand Albacore Tuna Troll:

    MSC Certified

  • SZLC, CSFC & FZLC Cook Islands EEZ South Pacific albacore & yellowfin longline:

    MSC Certified

  • Walker Seafood Australia Albacore and Yellowfin tuna, swordfish and mahi mahi longline:

    MSC Certified

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.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
South Pacific IATTC China Longlines
Spain Mechanized lines
Taiwan, Province of China Longlines
United States Mechanized lines
Trolling lines
WCPFC Australia Bottom-set longlines
Longlines
Mechanized lines
Trolling lines
China Longlines
Cook Islands Drifting longlines
Longlines
Fiji Longlines
Trolling lines
New Zealand Trolling lines
Solomon Islands Longlines
Spain Mechanized lines
Taiwan, Province of China Longlines
United States Mechanized lines
Trolling lines
Vanuatu Longlines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Strengths

Albacore tuna populations in the South Pacific are healthy and fishing mortality levels are likely sustainable. The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission has taken action to limit the number of fishing vessels targeting albacore. There is a limit reference point in place.

Weaknesses

Although the population as a whole is considered healthy, there is the possibility that localized depletion’s have occurred. Scientific advice has been that managers pay attention to longline catches and catch rate trends from the past ten years. Several depleted species, such as sea turtles, sharks and sea birds, can be caught in longline fisheries targeting albacore. Best-practices bycatch mitigation methods have not been adopted for all of these species and longline observer coverage rates are low (5%). there are no target reference points in place and no harvest control rule.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 30 October 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Work with Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) Members, Cooperating Non-Members, and Participating Territories to: 
    • 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 and IATTCConservation 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.
United States
Trolling lines

Last updated on 30 October 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the MSC certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.
Mechanized lines

Last updated on 30 October 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the MSC certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.
Australia
Longlines

Last updated on 30 October 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the MSC certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.
Cook Islands
Longlines

Last updated on 30 October 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Identify and rectify issues that are preventing the MSC certification conditions from being closed out in the agreed timeframe. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.
Fiji
Longlines

Last updated on 30 October 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the MSC certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.
New Zealand
Trolling lines

Last updated on 30 October 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Identify and rectify issues that are preventing the MSC certification conditions from being closed out in the agreed timeframe. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.
United States
Trolling lines

Last updated on 30 October 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the MSC certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.
Mechanized lines

Last updated on 30 October 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the MSC certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Albacore tuna in the South Pacific are considered a single stock for assessment purposes. Stock assessments for South Pacific albacore tuna are conducted by the Oceanic Fisheries Program of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). The most recent stock assessment for South Pacific albacore tuna was conducted by SPC in 2015.

The 2015 stock assessment was conducted using the MULTIFAN-CL software, which is an age and size based, spatially structured population model. Three significant changes were made during this assessment (compared to the previous 2012 assessment): 1) use of spatially explicit model covering southern region of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, 2) inclusion of direct age-length observations and tagging data, 3) change in natural mortality parameter from 0.4 to 0.3. A base case and sensitivity analysis were conducted. In addition, a structural uncertainty analysis was used, which could aid in development of management advice (Harley et al. 2015).

Fiji
Trolling lines

Last updated on 11 April 2012

The most recent stock assessment was conducted in 2012 used catch data for the 1960-2011 years to estimate the status of the stock using MULTIFAN-CL method (Hoyle et al., 2012).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The authors of the 2015 stock assessment provided advice on  specific recommendations and biological study recommendations. For the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) specific recommendation, it was highlighted that the WCPFC must ensure that all operational level longline data (i.e. set by set information) is available for stock assessments. Biological recommendations included studies on growth rates, natural mortality, catch-at-age data set development, and movement rate studies.

Based on the results of the assessment, increasing fishing mortality to FMSY would require a large increase in effort but would results in only a small increase in long-term catches (Harley et al. 2015).

The 11th Scientific Committee (SC11) recommended the following regarding albacore assessments:
1. More extensive retrospective analyses examining a longer period of time and including
the key management quantities;
ii. Compare the observed and predicted sample sizes for size composition data as one
aspect of a more detailed examination of how size data are modelled and weighted
within the stock assessment;
iii. Collaborate with albacore assessment scientists in other RFMOs and research
organizations around data upon which to base a plausible range of values for natural
mortality – including consideration of the sensitivity of the assessment results to higher
natural mortality for younger ages; and
iv. Further examination of seasonal selectivity – especially for longline fisheries in southern
regions of the assessment.

The SC also recommended that the bio-ecomonic model be updated and medium-term projections (2014-34) should be undertaken.

Management advice from SC11 was:
1. The South Pacific albacore spawning stock is currently above both the level that will
support the MSY and the adopted spawning biomass limit reference point, and overfishing is not
occurring (F less than Fmsy).
2. While overfishing is not occurring, further increases in effort will yield little or no increase
in long-term catches and result in further reduced catch rates.
3. Decline in abundance of albacore is a key driver in the reduced economic conditions
experienced by many PICT domestic longline fleets. Further, reductions in prices are also
impacting some distant water fleets.
4. For several years, SC has noted that any increases in catch or effort in sub-tropical longline
fisheries are likely to lead to declines in catch rates in some regions (10oS-30oS), especially for
longline catches of adult albacore, with associated impacts on vessel profitability.
5. Despite the fact that the stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring, SC11
reiterates the advice of SC10 recommending that longline fishing mortality and longline catch be
reduced to avoid further decline in the vulnerable biomass so that economically viable catch rates
can be maintained (WCPFC 2015).

Reference Points

Last updated on 28 Jan 2016

Reference points (Source: Harley et al. 2015)
Fcurrent/FMSY = 0.39 (Range 0.2-.05)
SBlatest/SB0 = 0.41 (0.33-.055)
SBlatest/SBF0 = 0.40 (0.31-.055)
MSY = 76,800 tonnes
Clatest= 77046

United States
Trolling lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Reference Points

Last updated on 28 Jan 2016

MSY (2009 estimate) = 85,200 mt
F2004-2006/Fmsy = 0.44
F2007-2009/Fmsy = 0.26
SB2004-2006/SBmsy = 2.99
SB2009/SBmsy = 2.25
B2004-2006/Bmsy = 1.26
B2007-2009/Bmsy = 1.26

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Reference Points

Last updated on 28 Jan 2016

MSY (2009 estimate) = 85,200 mt
F2004-2006/Fmsy = 0.44
F2007-2009/Fmsy = 0.26
SB2004-2006/SBmsy = 2.99
SB2009/SBmsy = 2.25
B2004-2006/Bmsy = 1.26
B2007-2009/Bmsy = 1.26

Australia
Longlines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Reference Points

Last updated on 28 Jan 2016

MSY: 81,580 tonnes
F2005-2007/Fmsy = 0.25

Trolling lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Reference Points

Last updated on 28 Jan 2016

MSY: 81,580 tonnes
F2005-2007/Fmsy = 0.25

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Reference Points

Last updated on 28 Jan 2016

MSY: 81,580 tonnes
F2005-2007/Fmsy = 0.25

Fiji
Trolling lines

Last updated on 11 April 2012

Reference Points

Last updated on 11 Apr 2012

Reference points (Source: Hoyle et al., 2012)
Albacore catch (Fiji EEZ) for the year 2010: 3466 tonnes
Fcurrent/Fmsy = 0.21 (Range 0.04-1.08)
Bcurrent/Bmsy = 1.6 (1.4-1.9)
BFcurrent/Bmsy = 1.49 (0.96-1.81)
SBFcurrent/SBmsy = 2.4 (0.94-5.3)
YFcurrent/MSY = 0.7 (0.37-0.99)
SBcurrent / SBmsy = 2.6 (1.5-5.2)
MSY = 99,085 tonnes
M = 0.4
F = 0.20

New Zealand
Trolling lines

Last updated on 26 June 2009

Reference Points

Last updated on 26 Jun 2009

New Zealand Albacore Tuna – South Pacific Catches:
2006: 2627.14 t
2007: 2068.52 t
2008: 3631.06 t
2009: 2246.37 t
2010: 2179.48 t

Reference Points:
Bmsy/B0 = 0.53
SBmsy / SB0 = 0.26
F2007-2009/Fmsy = 0.26
SB2009 / SBmsy = 2.25
SB2006 / SBmsy = 4.10
B2007-2009/Bmsy = 1.26
B2006/Bmsy = 1.34
MSY = 85,200 t

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 28 January 2016

According to the 2015 assessment, current catch is at or slightly less than maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels. Fishing mortality levels are lower than those that will support MSY and therefore overfising is not occurring. The spawining potential level is above the limit reference point and therefore albacore in the south Pacific are not overfished (Harley et al. 2015).

Trends

Last updated on 28 Jan 2016

The spawning potential has shown an almost constant decrease (despite peaks in 1970 and 2000) since the 1960’s. The current spawning potential is 3% above virgin levels. The spawning potential is below proposed target reference points based on bio-economic modeling. Fishing mortality has been increasing over time {Harley et al. 2015}.

United States
Trolling lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Last stock assessment was conducted in 2009 (Hoyle 2011). Estimates from this assessment indicates that stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring.

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Last stock assessment was conducted in 2009 (Hoyle 2011). Estimates from this assessment indicates that stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring.

Australia
Longlines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The Stock is not overfished or experiencing overfishing (Hoyle 2011).

Trolling lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The Stock is not overfished or experiencing overfishing (Hoyle 2011).

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The Stock is not overfished or experiencing overfishing (Hoyle 2011).

Fiji
Trolling lines

Last updated on 11 April 2012

The South Pacific – Albacore tuna stock is not overfished or experiencing overfishing (Hoyle et al., 2012). The Fcurrent/Fmsy is 0.21 and hence there is a low risk of overfishing on this stock.

New Zealand
Trolling lines

Last updated on 26 June 2009

The Stock is not overfished or experiencing ovefishing (Hoyle 2011).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) adopted a Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) for albacore tuna in the South Pacific in 2005 and 2010. The 2010 CMM adopted by the WCPFC updated and replaced the 2005 CMM. The current CMM for the South Pacific Albacore fishery limits the number of member countries fishing vessels that can actively fish in the WCPFC Convention area south of 20ºS above 2005 levels or historical (2000-2004) levels. Commission and Cooperating Members (CCM) are also required to report annual total and bycatch amounts of albacore tuna (WCPFC 2010A).

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 28 Jan 2016

Albacore tuna in the south Pacific are not overfished or undergoing overfishing (Harley et al. 2015), so there is no need for a recovery plan.

United States
Trolling lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The WCPFC conservation measure (WCPFC-03 implemented since February 16, 2006) does not allow increase in fishing effort for the albacore.

Commercial fishermen are required to obtain a permit and maintain longbook of catches.

Longlining is prohibited in many areas around Hawaii and American Samoa to prevent interactions with marine mammals. Zone and area closures are enforced through Vessel monitoring system to track vessel movements.

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The WCPFC conservation measure (WCPFC-03 implemented since February 16, 2006) does not allow increase in fishing effort for the albacore.

Commercial fishermen are required to obtain a permit and maintain longbook of catches.

Longlining is prohibited in many areas around Hawaii and American Samoa to prevent interactions with marine mammals. Zone and area closures are enforced through Vessel monitoring system to track vessel movements.

Australia
Longlines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

A harvest strategy has been adopted by Australia for the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery. This harvest strategy is used to determine the Recommended Biological Commercial Catch, which the Australian Fishery Management Association uses to set Total Allowable Catches for bigeye, yellowfin and albacore tuna along with swordfish and striped marlin.This allows the fishery to be fished as sustainable levels and allows for rebuilding if a population is being overfished among other things such as economic stability {AFMA 2012}.The 2014/15 TAC for albacore was set at 2,500 t.The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) has yet to set a catch limit for albacore tuna {WCPFC 2013}.Australia has limited the number of longline vessels through the a fishing permit surrender aspect of the Australian Government Securing Our Fishing Future package in 2006. An observer program has been in place since 2001, and observed 6.2% of the fishery during 2012, higher than the 5% coverage rate required by the WCPFC.Electronic monitoring(on-board digital cameras) were implemented in the fishery during 2013. Logbook reporting has been in place since 1986 and is close to 100% compliance. Port sampling programs are also in place, which collect weights of landed fish. During 2012, 69% of longline landed yellowfin tuna were sampled.In addition, vessel monitoring systems are required on call Commonwealth endorsed fishing vessels. In 2012, compliance was 96.4% {Patterson et al. 2013}.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), of which Australia is a cooperating member, adopted a Conservation and Management Measure for albacore tuna in the South Pacific in 2005 and 2010. The 2010 Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) adopted by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) updated and replaced the 2005 CMM.The current CMM for the South Pacific Albacore fishery limits the number of member countries fishing vessels that can actively fish in the WCPFC Convention area south of 20ºS above 2005 levels orhistorical (2000-2004) levels. Commission and Cooperating Members (CCM) are also required to report annual total and bycatch amounts of albacore tuna (WCPFC 2010A).

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 28 Jan 2016

Australia has a harvest strategy plan that allows for rebuilding if a population is deemed overfished {AFMA 2007}. Albacore is not currently overfished.

Trolling lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

A harvest strategy has been adopted by Australia for the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery. This harvest strategy is used to determine the Recommended Biological Commercial Catch, which the Australian Fishery Management Association uses to set Total Allowable Catches for bigeye, yellowfin and albacore tuna along with swordfish and striped marlin.This allows the fishery to be fished as sustainable levels and allows for rebuilding if a population is being overfished among other things such as economic stability {AFMA 2012}.The 2014/15 TAC for albacore was set at 2,500 t.The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) has yet to set a catch limit for albacore tuna {WCPFC 2013}.Australia has limited the number of longline vessels through the a fishing permit surrender aspect of the Australian Government Securing Our Fishing Future package in 2006. An observer program has been in place since 2001, and observed 6.2% of the fishery during 2012, higher than the 5% coverage rate required by the WCPFC.Electronic monitoring(on-board digital cameras) were implemented in the fishery during 2013. Logbook reporting has been in place since 1986 and is close to 100% compliance. Port sampling programs are also in place, which collect weights of landed fish. During 2012, 69% of longline landed yellowfin tuna were sampled.In addition, vessel monitoring systems are required on call Commonwealth endorsed fishing vessels. In 2012, compliance was 96.4% {Patterson et al. 2013}.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), of which Australia is a cooperating member, adopted a Conservation and Management Measure for albacore tuna in the South Pacific in 2005 and 2010. The 2010 Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) adopted by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) updated and replaced the 2005 CMM.The current CMM for the South Pacific Albacore fishery limits the number of member countries fishing vessels that can actively fish in the WCPFC Convention area south of 20ºS above 2005 levels orhistorical (2000-2004) levels. Commission and Cooperating Members (CCM) are also required to report annual total and bycatch amounts of albacore tuna (WCPFC 2010A).

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 28 Jan 2016

Australia has a harvest strategy plan that allows for rebuilding if a population is deemed overfished {AFMA 2007}. Albacore is not currently overfished.

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

A harvest strategy has been adopted by Australia for the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery. This harvest strategy is used to determine the Recommended Biological Commercial Catch, which the Australian Fishery Management Association uses to set Total Allowable Catches for bigeye, yellowfin and albacore tuna along with swordfish and striped marlin.This allows the fishery to be fished as sustainable levels and allows for rebuilding if a population is being overfished among other things such as economic stability {AFMA 2012}.The 2014/15 TAC for albacore was set at 2,500 t.The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) has yet to set a catch limit for albacore tuna {WCPFC 2013}.Australia has limited the number of longline vessels through the a fishing permit surrender aspect of the Australian Government Securing Our Fishing Future package in 2006. An observer program has been in place since 2001, and observed 6.2% of the fishery during 2012, higher than the 5% coverage rate required by the WCPFC.Electronic monitoring(on-board digital cameras) were implemented in the fishery during 2013. Logbook reporting has been in place since 1986 and is close to 100% compliance. Port sampling programs are also in place, which collect weights of landed fish. During 2012, 69% of longline landed yellowfin tuna were sampled.In addition, vessel monitoring systems are required on call Commonwealth endorsed fishing vessels. In 2012, compliance was 96.4% {Patterson et al. 2013}.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), of which Australia is a cooperating member, adopted a Conservation and Management Measure for albacore tuna in the South Pacific in 2005 and 2010. The 2010 Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) adopted by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) updated and replaced the 2005 CMM.The current CMM for the South Pacific Albacore fishery limits the number of member countries fishing vessels that can actively fish in the WCPFC Convention area south of 20ºS above 2005 levels orhistorical (2000-2004) levels. Commission and Cooperating Members (CCM) are also required to report annual total and bycatch amounts of albacore tuna (WCPFC 2010A).

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 28 Jan 2016

Australia has a harvest strategy plan that allows for rebuilding if a population is deemed overfished {AFMA 2007}. Albacore is not currently overfished.

Cook Islands
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The organization in charge of fisheries in the Cook Islands it the Ministry of Marine Resources. The following legislation governs conservation, management and the development of Cook Islands fisheries: Ministry of Marine Resources, Marine Resources Act, Longline Fishery Plan, Marine Resources, Distant Water Fishery plan 2008. The Large Pelagic Longline Fishery Plan (LPLFP) manages this fishery {Gascoigne et al. 2014}.Tuna vessels are licensed to fish in the Cook Islands and separate authorization is needed to fish on the high seas. Information on catch and effort is collected through logbook, observer and port sampling programs. During 2013, 98% observer coverage was attained through the logbook program.The observer coverage rate was 6% in 2013, slightly higher than the required 5% (by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission). Port sampling has been deemed difficult for non-domestic Cook Island flagged vessels. Port sampling of frozen fish vessels is to increase in effort in the near future . In addition, there are limits on fishing effort and allocation of fishing rights, time restrictions, fishing areas and fishing gear can all be implemented through the LPLFP {Gascoigne et al. 2014}{MMR 2014}.

The Cook Islands are a member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), a regional fishery management organization (RFMO) in charge of managing tuna and tuna like species in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. The most current WCPFC management measure that pertains to south Pacific albacore is form 2005 and requires nations to maintain fishing at current (2005) or historical levels (2000-2004) {WCPFC 2005}.

The Tokelau Arrangement provides a framework for South Pacific membersto set management measures for albacore within their EEZ’s.

Fiji
Trolling lines

Last updated on 1 September 2012

As a condition of fishing vessels license, logbooks are required for each longliner operating from Fiji, with almost 100% logbook coverage in 2010 (Akroyd et al., 2012)

WCPFC (CMM 2010-05) measure for the South Pacific Albacore fishery limits the number of vessels that can actively fish in the WCPFC Convention “area south of 20ºS above current (2005) levels or recent historical (2000-2004) levels” (Akroyd et al., 2012).

New Zealand
Trolling lines

Last updated on 26 June 2009

There is no TAC for South Pacific Albacore tuna in New Zealand waters. Albacore is also not managed under Quota Management System (QMS) in New Zealand.

WCPFC member countries including New Zealand shall not increase the vessels fishing for South Pacific Albacore in the Convention Area south of 20°S above 2005 or historical 2000-2004 levels.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 28 January 2016

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 2012a}.

Vessel Monitoring Systems are required on all vessels fishing for highly migratory species in the western and central Pacific Ocean south of 20N and east of 175E.The area north of 20N and west of 175W will have an activation date for VMS’s set at a later time {WCPFC 2012b}.There are measures in place allowing for the boarding and inspection of vessels in the Convention Area {WCPFC 2006} and the WCPFC maintains a list of illegal, unreported and unregulated vessels {WCPFC 2010b}.However, assessing the effectiveness of these enforcement measures is difficult because there is a general lack in the transparency of information with regards to surveillance activities, infractions and enforcement actions and outcomes {Gilman et al. 2013}.

Australia
Longlines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The ETBF fishery is well monitored and enforced in Australian waters and no problems are reported with this fishery in Australian waters. Detailed data on bycatch and discards are also quantified each year (Woodhams et al., 2011). TAC limits are applied to vessels operating in the ETBF in Australian waters, but no TAC is set for albacore in the regional fishery management area of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

Enforcement of tuna catch regulations presents a major challenge due to the large maritime area that WCPFC covers (World Fishing 2009). A dramatic increase in the number of sightings of unauthorized fishing vessels in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean is alarming fisheries officials in the Pacific Islands region. The Executive Director of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission had advised that there was strong evidence of a significant increase in illegal fishing ranging throughout the central Pacific through French Polynesia, Cook Islands and Kiribati. The majority of reports received so far concern large purse seiners flagged to Latin American countries.

Trolling lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The ETBF fishery is well monitored and enforced in Australian waters and no problems are reported with this fishery in Australian waters. Detailed data on bycatch and discards are also quantified each year (Woodhams et al., 2011). TAC limits are applied to vessels operating in the ETBF in Australian waters, but no TAC is set for albacore in the regional fishery management area of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

Enforcement of tuna catch regulations presents a major challenge due to the large maritime area that WCPFC covers (World Fishing 2009). A dramatic increase in the number of sightings of unauthorized fishing vessels in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean is alarming fisheries officials in the Pacific Islands region. The Executive Director of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission had advised that there was strong evidence of a significant increase in illegal fishing ranging throughout the central Pacific through French Polynesia, Cook Islands and Kiribati. The majority of reports received so far concern large purse seiners flagged to Latin American countries.

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The ETBF fishery is well monitored and enforced in Australian waters and no problems are reported with this fishery in Australian waters. Detailed data on bycatch and discards are also quantified each year (Woodhams et al., 2011). TAC limits are applied to vessels operating in the ETBF in Australian waters, but no TAC is set for albacore in the regional fishery management area of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

Enforcement of tuna catch regulations presents a major challenge due to the large maritime area that WCPFC covers (World Fishing 2009). A dramatic increase in the number of sightings of unauthorized fishing vessels in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean is alarming fisheries officials in the Pacific Islands region. The Executive Director of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission had advised that there was strong evidence of a significant increase in illegal fishing ranging throughout the central Pacific through French Polynesia, Cook Islands and Kiribati. The majority of reports received so far concern large purse seiners flagged to Latin American countries.

New Zealand
Trolling lines

Last updated on 26 June 2009

There are no reports of illegal albacore catches in the New Zealand EEZ (Anon 2009).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Longline fisheries interact with several species of sea turtles and seabirds in the South Pacific Ocean.

Green, hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles are currently listed on CITES Appendix I, meaning they are threatened with extinction and international trade is banned. In addition, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed green and loggerhead turtles as Endangered and leatherback turtles as Critically Endangered. Leatherback turtles have also been listed as Endangered on the Endangered Species Act since 1970 (Martinez 2000)(Marine Turtle Specialist Group 2006))(NMFS 2012).

In addition to these species that are protected through global measures, several bird species and additional marine mammals are incidentally captured in this fishery (Molony 2005) (OFP 2010).

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) has adopted several management measures to protect vulnerable bycatch species. Members 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). Fisheries observers record and report interactions with seabirds and turtles(WCPFC 2008).

Handline, pole and troll fisheries typcially have minimal impact on ETP species.

United States
Trolling lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

By-catch of non-target species is relatively low in troll fishery.There are no reported interactions with PET species in the US troll fishery (Powers et al 2007).

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

By-catch of non-target species is relatively low in troll fishery.There are no reported interactions with PET species in the US troll fishery (Powers et al 2007).

Australia
Bottom-set longlines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

This fishery is currently in MSC assessment. This section will be updated when the final assessment report is made publicly available (http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/in-assessment/pacific/walker-seafood-australia-albacore-and-yellowfin-tuna-swordfish-and-mahi-mahi-longline/assessment-downloads).

Longlines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Interactions with high risk species are listed and managed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The Australian Fisheries Management Authority has an Australian Tuna and Billfish Bycatch and Discarding Workplan. Under this plan bycatch mitigation techniques are identified for high risk species. Ecological Risk Assessments are used to identify these high risk species {AFMA 2008}.

Sea turtles
Australia implemented The Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Sea Turtle Mitigation Plan in 2009 (effective January 1, 2010).However, due to the number of sea turtle interactions, this plan has been revoked and as of March 1, 2013, shallow-set swordfish sets are required to use large circle hooks, and dehooking and line cutters must be carried on all vessels {Patterson et al. 2013}. Interactions (logbook recorded) with sea turtles have ranged from 8-25 between 2008 and 2012. The most common species are the leatherback and green sea turtles. Observed captures ranged from 5-13 during the same time period {Patterson et al. 2013}.

Seabirds
Interactions with sea birds are required to be recorded in logbooks and reported. The AFMA forwards these reports to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities quarterly.Seabird mitigation methods are required: tori lines, weighted swivels or weights, no discharge of offal during setting and retrieval. In addition, thawed bait may not be used fishing south of 25 degrees {Patterson et al. 2013}.Recorded (logbook) interactions with sea birds ranged from 0-9 between 2008 and 2012, with no interactions reported since 2010.The most commonly reported species has been the black-browed albatross. Observed interactions ranged from 1-7 during the same time period {Patterson et al. 2013}.

Marine mammals
Marine mammal interactions are required to be recorded in logbooks and submitted in the same fashion as for sea birds {Patterson et al. 2013}.Recorded interactions with marine mammals (logbook) ranged from 0-7 between 2008 and 2012, with short-finned pilot whales having the highest interaction rates.Observed interactions were only recorded in 2008 (Australian fur seal – 4) and 2010 (short-finned pilot whale – 3) {Patterson et al. 2013}.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) has adopted several management measures to protect vulnerable bycatch species. Members 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).Fisheries observers record and report interactions with seabirds and turtles(WCPFC 2008).

Trolling lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Interactions with high risk species are listed and managed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The Australian Fisheries Management Authority has an Australian Tuna and Billfish Bycatch and Discarding Workplan. Under this plan bycatch mitigation techniques are identified for high risk species. Ecological Risk Assessments are used to identify these high risk species {AFMA 2008}.

Sea turtles
Australia implemented The Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Sea Turtle Mitigation Plan in 2009 (effective January 1, 2010).However, due to the number of sea turtle interactions, this plan has been revoked and as of March 1, 2013, shallow-set swordfish sets are required to use large circle hooks, and dehooking and line cutters must be carried on all vessels {Patterson et al. 2013}. Interactions (logbook recorded) with sea turtles have ranged from 8-25 between 2008 and 2012. The most common species are the leatherback and green sea turtles. Observed captures ranged from 5-13 during the same time period {Patterson et al. 2013}.

Seabirds
Interactions with sea birds are required to be recorded in logbooks and reported. The AFMA forwards these reports to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities quarterly.Seabird mitigation methods are required: tori lines, weighted swivels or weights, no discharge of offal during setting and retrieval. In addition, thawed bait may not be used fishing south of 25 degrees {Patterson et al. 2013}.Recorded (logbook) interactions with sea birds ranged from 0-9 between 2008 and 2012, with no interactions reported since 2010.The most commonly reported species has been the black-browed albatross. Observed interactions ranged from 1-7 during the same time period {Patterson et al. 2013}.

Marine mammals
Marine mammal interactions are required to be recorded in logbooks and submitted in the same fashion as for sea birds {Patterson et al. 2013}.Recorded interactions with marine mammals (logbook) ranged from 0-7 between 2008 and 2012, with short-finned pilot whales having the highest interaction rates.Observed interactions were only recorded in 2008 (Australian fur seal – 4) and 2010 (short-finned pilot whale – 3) {Patterson et al. 2013}.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) has adopted several management measures to protect vulnerable bycatch species. Members 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).Fisheries observers record and report interactions with seabirds and turtles(WCPFC 2008).

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Interactions with high risk species are listed and managed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The Australian Fisheries Management Authority has an Australian Tuna and Billfish Bycatch and Discarding Workplan. Under this plan bycatch mitigation techniques are identified for high risk species. Ecological Risk Assessments are used to identify these high risk species {AFMA 2008}.

Sea turtles
Australia implemented The Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Sea Turtle Mitigation Plan in 2009 (effective January 1, 2010).However, due to the number of sea turtle interactions, this plan has been revoked and as of March 1, 2013, shallow-set swordfish sets are required to use large circle hooks, and dehooking and line cutters must be carried on all vessels {Patterson et al. 2013}. Interactions (logbook recorded) with sea turtles have ranged from 8-25 between 2008 and 2012. The most common species are the leatherback and green sea turtles. Observed captures ranged from 5-13 during the same time period {Patterson et al. 2013}.

Seabirds
Interactions with sea birds are required to be recorded in logbooks and reported. The AFMA forwards these reports to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities quarterly.Seabird mitigation methods are required: tori lines, weighted swivels or weights, no discharge of offal during setting and retrieval. In addition, thawed bait may not be used fishing south of 25 degrees {Patterson et al. 2013}.Recorded (logbook) interactions with sea birds ranged from 0-9 between 2008 and 2012, with no interactions reported since 2010.The most commonly reported species has been the black-browed albatross. Observed interactions ranged from 1-7 during the same time period {Patterson et al. 2013}.

Marine mammals
Marine mammal interactions are required to be recorded in logbooks and submitted in the same fashion as for sea birds {Patterson et al. 2013}.Recorded interactions with marine mammals (logbook) ranged from 0-7 between 2008 and 2012, with short-finned pilot whales having the highest interaction rates.Observed interactions were only recorded in 2008 (Australian fur seal – 4) and 2010 (short-finned pilot whale – 3) {Patterson et al. 2013}.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) has adopted several management measures to protect vulnerable bycatch species. Members 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).Fisheries observers record and report interactions with seabirds and turtles(WCPFC 2008).

Cook Islands
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Interactions between the Cook Islands longline fleet and PET species appears to be minimal. In 2013, one interaction with a bird was recorded by an observer along with one interaction with a cetacean. Interactions are recorded by observers and on logsheets by the vessel captains {MMR 2014}.

The Cook Islands has a National Plan of Action for Sea Turtle Bycatch Mitigation. Fisherman must use circle hooks and release hooked turtles. All interactions must be recorded. The Cook Islands provides awareness materials to fishermen, provides workshops, provides a hook exchange program and a turtle mitigation program.

Cetacean bycatch is managed under the Marine Resources (Longline Fishery) Regulations 2008, making it illegal to capture them.

There is a National Plan of Action on Seabirds in place and vessels are to abide by national or international measures to protect seabirds outside of the Cook Islands EEZ. Beyond this, there are no specific seabird management measures adopted by the Cook Islands {Gascogne et al. 2014}.

Fiji
Trolling lines

Last updated on 1 September 2012

Detailed estimates of retained and discarded PET species are collected and available through SPC/FFA observer records for the Fiji’s longline fleet from January 2008 to September 2011 (Akroyd et al., 2012; Tanaga 2012).

In 2011, Fiji’s longline fleet reported interactions with 4 dolphins, and 8 toothed whales, but all were released alive and none were dead; among marine turtles 1 green turtle was entagled and found dead, while 6 logger head turtles were caught (4 dead), 1 hawksbill turtle caught and found dead, 2 Leatherback turtles were caught and released alive, and 1 olive ridley turtles was found dead (Tanaga 2012). However, one has to note that observer coverage was around 3% in Fiji’s longline fisheries and there is a need to increase it to 20% to get more credible information on interactions with protected and endangered species.

Most of the finfish by-catch is retained and less than 5% of catch is discarded. By-catch consisted of yellowfin tuna (31%), sharks (Blue, silky, oceanic white tip, shortfin mako). PET species such as Hawksbill turtle, Leatherback turtles, Loggerhead and Olive ridly turtles comprised less than 0.01% of the catch. There were no reported interactions with the critically endangered Fijian petrel and near threatened Tahiti petrel (Akroyd et al., 2012).

Other Species

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Several species of tunas, sharks, billfish and other fish are caught as bycatch species in the south Pacific albacore longline fisheries. 

There are few management measures in place to protect these bycatch species (other than tuna). Members 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 2012h}. 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. Shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010a}.

There is limited bycatch in troll, handline and pole and line fisheries.

Australia
Bottom-set longlines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

This fishery is currently in MSC assessment. This section will be updated when the final assessment report is made publicly available (http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/in-assessment/pacific/walker-seafood-australia-albacore-and-yellowfin-tuna-swordfish-and-mahi-mahi-longline/assessment-downloads).

Longlines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery reports a number of non-target species associated with this fishery.The most commonly captured species include mahi mahi, rudderfish and southern bluefin tuna. Escolar, moonfish, wahoo and Ray’s bean are also reported. The most commonly captured shark species is the shortfin mako shark, followed by blue and bronze whaler sharks. The majority of blue sharks are discarded. This fishery also targets swordfish and striped marlin, along with bigeye and albacore tuna.The retention of blue and black marlin has been prohibited since 1998 and no interactions were reported during 2012 {Patterson et al. 2013}.

Shortfin mako sharks (and several other species) are protected under Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999 {DOE 2013}.Under this protection, only sharks that are brought onboard dead may be utilized, live sharks are to be released. Australia has also banned shark finning.Ecological Risk Assessments (ERA) are conducted for all fisheries and include sharks.An Ecological Risk Management response is developed when a shark species is deemed a high risk based on ERA assessments.De-hookers are to be used to release sharks and wire leaders are prohibited {AFMA 2014}.

Under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission management, members 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 2012h}. 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.Shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010a}.

Trolling lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery reports a number of non-target species associated with this fishery.The most commonly captured species include mahi mahi, rudderfish and southern bluefin tuna. Escolar, moonfish, wahoo and Ray’s bean are also reported. The most commonly captured shark species is the shortfin mako shark, followed by blue and bronze whaler sharks. The majority of blue sharks are discarded. This fishery also targets swordfish and striped marlin, along with bigeye and albacore tuna.The retention of blue and black marlin has been prohibited since 1998 and no interactions were reported during 2012 {Patterson et al. 2013}.

Shortfin mako sharks (and several other species) are protected under Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999 {DOE 2013}.Under this protection, only sharks that are brought onboard dead may be utilized, live sharks are to be released. Australia has also banned shark finning.Ecological Risk Assessments (ERA) are conducted for all fisheries and include sharks.An Ecological Risk Management response is developed when a shark species is deemed a high risk based on ERA assessments.De-hookers are to be used to release sharks and wire leaders are prohibited {AFMA 2014}.

Under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission management, members 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 2012h}. 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.Shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010a}.

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery reports a number of non-target species associated with this fishery.The most commonly captured species include mahi mahi, rudderfish and southern bluefin tuna. Escolar, moonfish, wahoo and Ray’s bean are also reported. The most commonly captured shark species is the shortfin mako shark, followed by blue and bronze whaler sharks. The majority of blue sharks are discarded. This fishery also targets swordfish and striped marlin, along with bigeye and albacore tuna.The retention of blue and black marlin has been prohibited since 1998 and no interactions were reported during 2012 {Patterson et al. 2013}.

Shortfin mako sharks (and several other species) are protected under Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999 {DOE 2013}.Under this protection, only sharks that are brought onboard dead may be utilized, live sharks are to be released. Australia has also banned shark finning.Ecological Risk Assessments (ERA) are conducted for all fisheries and include sharks.An Ecological Risk Management response is developed when a shark species is deemed a high risk based on ERA assessments.De-hookers are to be used to release sharks and wire leaders are prohibited {AFMA 2014}.

Under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission management, members 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 2012h}. 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.Shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010a}.

Cook Islands
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The Cook Islands EEZ was declared a shark sanctuary in December of 2012. The targeting or capture of all shark species is now prohibited in this region. The Cook Islands use an the Expanded SPC/FFA Regional Longline Logsheets, which collect species specific information on shark catches. According to these data, several species of sharks, including blue sharks and silky sharks were caught in very low numbers (0.15 and 0.06 t respectively) during 2013. Based on observer data, it is estimated that a total of 12.5 t of sharks were caught during 2013. Blue marlin and Wahoo arethe most commonly caught bycatch species (MMR 2014).

Fiji
Trolling lines

Last updated on 1 September 2012

A detailed account of species retained and discarded in this fishery is available in WCPFC (2012), Tavaga (2012) and Akroyd et al., (2012) reports. Finfish species with constituted less than 5% of the total catch and were retained in this fishery include Opah (spotted moonfish) (4.5%), swordfish (2%), and blue marlins (1%); Among sharks short-finned mako (3%), Silky shark (2.7%), and oceanic white tip (2.5%) constituted less than 5% of the catch but significant proportion of these sharks were discarded and only fins were retained (Akroyd et al., 2012).

New Zealand
Trolling lines

Last updated on 26 June 2009

An average of 3.3% of the longline albacore catch was discarded in New Zealand waters (Anon 2009). Smaller juvenile albacore tuna are also caught in coastal waters of New Zealand and north of the Sub-tropical Convergence Zone (STCZ)(Anon 2009; Hoyle 2011).

In the longline fishery, limited interaction with albatross species is possible although no interactions are reported in the New Zealand troll fishery (Anon 2009). Sea bird bycatch mitigation measures are required under WCPFC Conservation measure (CNM2007-04).

HABITAT

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The impact of pelagic longlines and troll/pole fishing gears on bottom habitats is minimal.

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 28 Jan 2016

There are no marine reserves in place to protect albacore tuna in the south Pacific region of the western and central Pacific Ocean.

United States
Trolling lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Albacore tuna are mostly caught using troll gear in pelagic waters and hence habitat interactions are negligible.

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Albacore tuna are mostly caught using troll gear in pelagic waters and hence habitat interactions are negligible.

Australia
Longlines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The ETBF Ecological Risk Assessment found that the gears used by the fishery had minimal impacts on the sea bed (AFMA, 2012c).

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 28 Jan 2016

Several restrictions apply to ETBF vessels operating in Commonwealth areas:
1. Restrictions on fishing in the Coral Sea zone off the Queensland coast between Shelburne Bay and Proserpine to protect juvenile marlins and their spawning grounds. Longlining is not allowed in this area unless the vessels have a Coral Sea Boat SFR. A 500 hook limit also applies for vessels allowed to fish in this area.
2. Fishing is not allowed within 12nm of Lord Howe Island.
3. SFR license holders are not allowed to fish within Norfolk Island Box “Beginning at the point of latitude 28º 35’ S, longitude 167º 25’ East, and running: A) east along that parallel to its intersection with the meridian of longitude 168º 25’ East; and B) south along that meridian to its intersection with the parallel of latitude 29º 50’ South;
and C) west along that parallel to its intersection with the meridian of longitude 167º 25’ East; and D) north along that meridian to the point where the line began” (AFMA 2012a).

Some gear limitations may be in place within other MPAs (AFMA, 2012a) and plans have been reported to create 10 nm exclusion zones around turtle rookeries (AFMA, 2010).

Trolling lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The ETBF Ecological Risk Assessment found that the gears used by the fishery had minimal impacts on the sea bed (AFMA, 2012c).

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 28 Jan 2016

Several restrictions apply to ETBF vessels operating in Commonwealth areas:
1. Restrictions on fishing in the Coral Sea zone off the Queensland coast between Shelburne Bay and Proserpine to protect juvenile marlins and their spawning grounds. Longlining is not allowed in this area unless the vessels have a Coral Sea Boat SFR. A 500 hook limit also applies for vessels allowed to fish in this area.
2. Fishing is not allowed within 12nm of Lord Howe Island.
3. SFR license holders are not allowed to fish within Norfolk Island Box “Beginning at the point of latitude 28º 35’ S, longitude 167º 25’ East, and running: A) east along that parallel to its intersection with the meridian of longitude 168º 25’ East; and B) south along that meridian to its intersection with the parallel of latitude 29º 50’ South;
and C) west along that parallel to its intersection with the meridian of longitude 167º 25’ East; and D) north along that meridian to the point where the line began” (AFMA 2012a).

Some gear limitations may be in place within other MPAs (AFMA, 2012a) and plans have been reported to create 10 nm exclusion zones around turtle rookeries (AFMA, 2010).

Mechanized lines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

The ETBF Ecological Risk Assessment found that the gears used by the fishery had minimal impacts on the sea bed (AFMA, 2012c).

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 28 Jan 2016

Several restrictions apply to ETBF vessels operating in Commonwealth areas:
1. Restrictions on fishing in the Coral Sea zone off the Queensland coast between Shelburne Bay and Proserpine to protect juvenile marlins and their spawning grounds. Longlining is not allowed in this area unless the vessels have a Coral Sea Boat SFR. A 500 hook limit also applies for vessels allowed to fish in this area.
2. Fishing is not allowed within 12nm of Lord Howe Island.
3. SFR license holders are not allowed to fish within Norfolk Island Box “Beginning at the point of latitude 28º 35’ S, longitude 167º 25’ East, and running: A) east along that parallel to its intersection with the meridian of longitude 168º 25’ East; and B) south along that meridian to its intersection with the parallel of latitude 29º 50’ South;
and C) west along that parallel to its intersection with the meridian of longitude 167º 25’ East; and D) north along that meridian to the point where the line began” (AFMA 2012a).

Some gear limitations may be in place within other MPAs (AFMA, 2012a) and plans have been reported to create 10 nm exclusion zones around turtle rookeries (AFMA, 2010).

Cook Islands
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 28 January 2016

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 28 Jan 2016

The Cook Islands are a shark sanctuary, where the capture and/or retention of all shark species is prohibited.

Fiji
Trolling lines

Last updated on 11 April 2012

Albacore tuna are mostly caught using longline gear in pelagic waters and hence habitat interactions are negligible.

New Zealand
Trolling lines

Last updated on 26 June 2009

Albacore tuna are mostly caught using troll gear in pelagic waters and hence habitat interactions are negligible.

FishSource Scores

Last updated on 4 May 2017

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

Different components of this stock score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

There are limit but not formally adopted target reference points and no harvest control rule.

Different components of this stock score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Some but not all of the key recommendations made by the scientific organization responsible for the stock assessments are being taken into account by the management bodies via tangibly implemented conservation measures;

Different components of this stock score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

There is no advised TAC but it has been advised that longline mortality needs to be reduced.

STOCK HEALTH:

Different components of this stock score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

Biomass is above the limit reference point, but no target reference point is set for the stock.

Different components of this stock score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is 10.0.

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

The Ratio F/Fmsy is 0.390 . The F management target is 1.00 .

The underlying Ratio F/Fmsy/F management target for this index is 39.0%.

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

1) WCPFC 2015 updated catch data (http://www.wcpfc.int/system/files/ST_IP-01%20Annual%20Catch%20Estimates_0.pdf). 2) Biomass score qualitatively defined due to use of B20% limit reference point.

Download Source Data

Registered users can download the original data file for calculating the scores after logging in. If you wish, you can Register now.

Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

SELECT FIP

Access FIP Public Report

Progress Rating: A
Evaluation Start Date: 3 Dec 2017
Type: Comprehensive

Comments:

FIP progress rating is A. FIP is comprehensive and has achieved stage 4 progress.

1.
FIP Development
Sep 17
2.
FIP Launch
Dec 17
Nov 17
3.
FIP Implementation
Jul 18
4.
Improvements in Fishing Practices and Fishery Management
Jul 18
5.
Improvements on the Water
Verifiable improvement on the water
6.
MSC certification (optional)
MSC certificate made public

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

SELECT MSC

NAME

AAFA and WFOA South Pacific albacore tuna

STATUS

MSC Recertified on 23 August 2007

SCORES

In March 2014, the American Albacore Fishing Association (AAFA) – south fishery has merged with the American Western Fish Boat Owners Association (WFOA) albacore tuna North Pacific fishery.

This fishery was recertified by the Marine Stewardship Council system in November 2018. 

Principle Level Scores:

Principle Score
Principle 1 – Target Species 82.5
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 97.7
Principle 3 – Management System 86.9

Certification Type: Silver

Sources

Credits

Akroyd, J., Huntington, T., McLoughlin, K. 2012. MSC Assessment Report for Fiji Albacore Tuna Longline Fishery
Client: Fiji Tuna Boat Owners Association, Version: 3 Public Comment Draft Report, June 2012, 277 pages.

Langley A. 2004. An examination of the influence of recent oceanographic conditions on the catch rate of albacore in the main domestic longline fisheries, Working Paper SA-4. Seventeenth Meeting of the Standing Committee on Tuna and Billfish. Majuro, Marshall Islands. 9th-18th August 2004.

WCPFC. 2013. South Pacific albacore fishery. WCPFC-SC9-2013/EC9-WCPFC9-02
http://www.wcpfc.int/system/files/SC9-WCPFC9-02-South-Pacific-Albacore-Fishery-Nov-2012.pdf

Williams, P., Terawasi, P. 2011. Overview of Tuna Fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, Including Economic Conditions – 2010. WCPFC-SC7-2011/GN WP-1.

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References

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