Profile updated on 15 March 2021
Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) comprise a discrete stock in the South Pacific (Murray 1994, Hoyle 2012). This highly migratory species, when mature, spawn in tropical and sub-tropical waters between latitudes 10◦S and 30◦S during the austral summer (Muhling et al. 2017) and appear to gradually disperse north from the southern latitudes as they grow (Langley n.d., Nikolic et al. 2017).
South Pacific Albacore fishery presents an overlapping area between both the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), although management is attributed only to the WCPFC. The stock assessments for the South Pacific albacore are currently conducted by the Oceanic Fisheries Program of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
For this fishery, distant-water longline fleets and distinct domestic longline fleets catch adult albacore over a broad geographic range in the south Pacific region (see map). Six fleets together (China, Taiwan, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and French Polynesia) account for more than 80% of South Pacific Albacore catches in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) jurisdictional waters (Sen and Cartwright 2019). Longline fishing comprises 95% of the total catch for this stock on average in the last 10 years (Brouwer et al. 2018) and accounted for 82% of total active vessels in this fishery in 2019 (SPC 2020).
< 6 to ≥ 8