Summary

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Thunnus albacares

SPECIES NAME(S)

Yellowfin tuna

Despite the identification of distinct spawning grounds within the Atlantic Ocean, observed transatlantic movements and catch data suggest the existence of a unique stock which is used for stock assessment purposes (ICCAT, 2011). A new research study about the genetic variation in the region is being developed (Antoni et al., 2014).


ANALYSIS

Strengths

Managers have adhered to scientific advice. The stock assessment (2011) indicated that maintaining catches at current levels (110,000 t) would allow the population to remain healthy through 2024. The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) set a total allowable catch (TAC) at this level starting in 2013. Yellowfin tuna are included in a multi-year conservation and management plan for bigeye tuna.

Weaknesses

There are no formally adopted target or limit reference points. There is no harvest control rule in place, although the framework for one has been adopted. The population has been decreasing for over two decades and under target levels since 2009, but fishing mortality rates appear to be sustainable (although some model runs indicated it was not).  It has also been recommended that if measures which are effective at reducing FAD related mortality for small yellowfin tuna were implemented, the long-term yield would be improved. No measures have yet been adopted by ICCAT. An observer program is in place, but required coverage rates (all fleets) (5%) are very low. Catch and catch at size data needs to be reported at a smaller scale, data on present samples of size frequency data needs to be recovered and identifying ways of improving catch estimates from logbook data are all needed.

SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

10

Fishers Compliance:

10

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

7.8

Future Health:

8.9


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS

1.Ensure member countries comply with all conservation and management measures (CMMs) of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), including measures aimed at both target and bycatch species, and all other mandated obligations. Member countries must make information on monitoring and compliance with all ICCAT obligations publicly available, including actions being taken to address any identified non-compliance with ICCAT CMM’s. Ensure compliance with the current total allowable catch (TAC) for yellowfin tuna.
2.Promote the adoption by the ICCAT and member countries of precautionary management measures, including target and limit biological reference points, harvest control rules, increased observer coverage for all fisheries, national management measures and monitoring efforts adequate to ensure harvest strategy objectives are being met. Promote the adoption of management measures aimed at reducing mortality rates of juvenile yellowfin tuna caught in purse seine sets made on fish aggregating devices (FADs).
3.Improve data collection and reporting to ensure complete data sets (i.e. catches, effort, size), which are needed for robust stock assessments. For example, catch and catch at size data needs to be reported at a smaller scale, data on present samples of size frequency data needs to be recovered and identifying ways of improving catch estimates from logbook data are all needed.
4.Conduct studies, increase monitoring and publish information to assess longline interactions with protected, endangered and threatened (PET) and other bycatch species. Identify and mandate best practices bycatch mitigation techniques. Demand compliance with ICCAT management measures prohibiting the retention of oceanic whitetip, silky, thresher and hammerhead sharks.

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN

1.Encourage the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and individual member countries to adopt precautionary and ecosystem-based management measures. Demand that member countries comply with all ICCATs Conservation and Management Measures.
2.Explore implementation of control documents to ensure supplier compliance with ICCAT conservation and management measures (CMM’s) (e.g. around bycatch) such as: recording and reporting interactions, use of dehooking devices and line cutters for sea turtles, sea bird mitigation measures and prohibition on retaining silky, oceanic whitetip, hammerhead and thresher sharks. Source from vessels registered on the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) Proactive Vessel Register (PVR).
3.Encourage the ICCAT and member countries to conduct studies, increase monitoring and publish information to assess longline interactions with protected, endangered and threatened (PET) and other bycatch species. Explore opportunities to support studies and data gathering.
4.Contact SFP to learn more about fishery improvement projects (FIPs) and SFP’s Supplier Roundtables.


FIPS

  • Atlantic Ocean tropical tuna - purse seine (OPAGAC):

    Stage 4, Progress Rating A

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Southeast US North Atlantic big eye tuna and yellowfin tuna:

    Withdrawn

  • St. Helena pole & line and rod & line yellowfin, bigeye, albacore and skipjack tuna:

    Not 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
Atlantic Grenada Grenada Drifting longlines
ICCAT Brazil Drifting longlines
Canada Drifting longlines
Panama Longlines
Senegal Longlines
South Africa Drifting longlines
Spain Hooks and lines
Longlines
Purse seines
Unassociated purse seining
Trinidad and Tobago Drifting longlines
Gear not known
United States Longlines
Set gillnets (anchored)
Saint Helena Saint Helena Mechanized lines
Pole-lines hand operated
Suriname Suriname Drifting longlines
Hooks and lines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 10 December 2013

Strengths

Managers have adhered to scientific advice. The stock assessment (2011) indicated that maintaining catches at current levels (110,000 t) would allow the population to remain healthy through 2024. The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) set a total allowable catch (TAC) at this level starting in 2013. Yellowfin tuna are included in a multi-year conservation and management plan for bigeye tuna.

Weaknesses

There are no formally adopted target or limit reference points. There is no harvest control rule in place, although the framework for one has been adopted. The population has been decreasing for over two decades and under target levels since 2009, but fishing mortality rates appear to be sustainable (although some model runs indicated it was not).  It has also been recommended that if measures which are effective at reducing FAD related mortality for small yellowfin tuna were implemented, the long-term yield would be improved. No measures have yet been adopted by ICCAT. An observer program is in place, but required coverage rates (all fleets) (5%) are very low. Catch and catch at size data needs to be reported at a smaller scale, data on present samples of size frequency data needs to be recovered and identifying ways of improving catch estimates from logbook data are all needed.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 28 June 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1.Ensure member countries comply with all conservation and management measures (CMMs) of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), including measures aimed at both target and bycatch species, and all other mandated obligations. Member countries must make information on monitoring and compliance with all ICCAT obligations publicly available, including actions being taken to address any identified non-compliance with ICCAT CMM’s. Ensure compliance with the current total allowable catch (TAC) for yellowfin tuna.
2.Promote the adoption by the ICCAT and member countries of precautionary management measures, including target and limit biological reference points, harvest control rules, increased observer coverage for all fisheries, national management measures and monitoring efforts adequate to ensure harvest strategy objectives are being met. Promote the adoption of management measures aimed at reducing mortality rates of juvenile yellowfin tuna caught in purse seine sets made on fish aggregating devices (FADs).
3.Improve data collection and reporting to ensure complete data sets (i.e. catches, effort, size), which are needed for robust stock assessments. For example, catch and catch at size data needs to be reported at a smaller scale, data on present samples of size frequency data needs to be recovered and identifying ways of improving catch estimates from logbook data are all needed.
4.Conduct studies, increase monitoring and publish information to assess longline interactions with protected, endangered and threatened (PET) and other bycatch species. Identify and mandate best practices bycatch mitigation techniques. Demand compliance with ICCAT management measures prohibiting the retention of oceanic whitetip, silky, thresher and hammerhead sharks.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1.Encourage the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and individual member countries to adopt precautionary and ecosystem-based management measures. Demand that member countries comply with all ICCATs Conservation and Management Measures.
2.Explore implementation of control documents to ensure supplier compliance with ICCAT conservation and management measures (CMM’s) (e.g. around bycatch) such as: recording and reporting interactions, use of dehooking devices and line cutters for sea turtles, sea bird mitigation measures and prohibition on retaining silky, oceanic whitetip, hammerhead and thresher sharks. Source from vessels registered on the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) Proactive Vessel Register (PVR).
3.Encourage the ICCAT and member countries to conduct studies, increase monitoring and publish information to assess longline interactions with protected, endangered and threatened (PET) and other bycatch species. Explore opportunities to support studies and data gathering.
4.Contact SFP to learn more about fishery improvement projects (FIPs) and SFP’s Supplier Roundtables.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 10 June 2014

The latest stock assessment was conducted in 2016, and used catch and effort data up to 2014.  Three age-structured models and non-equilibrium production models were used to determine the status of the population. Information on the biology of yellowfin tuna and catch and effort data through 2014 were included in this assessment. Management advice was developed through the use of joint distribution of the models. Sensitivity analysis were used to evaluate uncertainties surrounding growth, age-slicing, mortality, index selection and data weighting {ICCAT 2016}.

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 10 June 2014

The yellowfin tuna working group of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) made several recommendations to the Commission based on the results of the last assessment. According to the working group, maintaining yellowfin tuna catches at current total allowable catch (TAC) levels (110,000 t) should allow the biomass to remain healthy through 2024. It was also advised that any increased fishing on fish aggregating devices (FADs) could negatively impact yellowfin and other tuna (i.e. bigeye) and bycatch species. Therefore if the Commission wanted to increase the long term yield of yellowfin tuna, FAD and other fishing related mortality of juvenile yellowfin tuna are needed {ICCAT 2016}.

REFERENCE POINTS

Last updated on 10 June 2014

ParameterValue
Fcurrent/FMSY0.77 (0.53-1.05)
Bcurrent/BMSY0.95 (0.71-1.36)
MSY126,304 tons (119,100 – 151,255)
CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 4 December 2013

According to the 2016 assessment, the population of yellowfin tuna is estimated to be about 5% below Convention objectives (B2014/Bmsy = 0.95). The current fishing mortality rate is estimated to be 23% below sustainable levels (Fmsy) ((Fcurrent/Fmsy=0.77). There is a  45.5% chance the stock was healthy in 2014, a 41.2% probability the stock was overfished and a 13.3% chance the stock was both overfished and undergoing overfishing {ICCAT 2016}.

TRENDS

Last updated on 21 November 2013

Yellowfin tuna are targeted by longline, baitboat and purse seine fisheries operating in the Atlantic Ocean. Catches of yellowfin tuna in the Atlantic have declined from peak levels (193,600 t) in 1990 to just under 109,000 t in 2015. Purse seine catches in the eastern Atlantic showed a large decline between 1990 and 2007 but have since increased. There has been a 70% decrease in baitboat catches since 1990 and longline catches have declined from 10,300 t in 1990 to 4,330 t in 2015. Purse seine and baitboat catches in the western Atlantic have declined about 90% since the mid 1980's and 1974 respectively. However, longline catches have mostly fluctuated between 10,000 and 20,000 t. Abundance indices show conflicting trends in abundance. One cluster indicates an initial decline into 1990, followed by a more constant abundance since. The second cluster shows an increase in abundance during the 1990's, followed by a decline in abundance {ICCAT 2016}. 

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGERS' DECISIONS

Last updated on 13 June 2014

Yellowfin tuna are managed by the International Commission for the Conservationn of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) through several measures. These measures include: time-area closure for fish aggregating device (FAD) fishing, a total allowable catch (TAC) of 110,000 t, limits on the number of longline/purse seine boats for some fleets, authorization to fish for vessels larger than 20 m and limits on FADs and the required use of non-entangling FADs {ICCAT 2016}.

Panama
Longlines

Last updated on 15 August 2012

Executive Order No. 90 of July 17, 2002 prohibits the use of gill nets and / or drift nets for all national and international fishing vessels using the Panama flag.

Law No. 75 of November 10, 1998 through which Panama ratified the International Dolphin Conservation Program.

La Autoridad de los Recursos Acuáticos de Panamá (ARAP) is responsible for catch verification, maintaining data on landings, exports and sampling programmes at major ports for different species. Panama complies with ICCAT requirement of Vessel monitoring system (Law No. 74 of November 10, 1998) for all industrial tuna vessels as a requirement for fishing license, and has adopted ICCAT scheme for port inspections (ICCAT 2011b). For industrial fishing vessels, the Vessel monitoring device must be kept on and transmit signals from the port of departure until its arrival in port under Executive Decree No. 83 of 5 April 2005, Executive Decree No. 17 of June 30, 2008.

United States
Set gillnets (anchored)

Last updated on 12 November 2013

Greenstick gear has been identified as it’s own type of gear and is not considered to be a handgear or longline. There are no catch limits for yellowfin tuna but there is a size limit of greater than 27 inches (NFMS 2013). Permits are required to target tunas in US waters.

RECOVERY PLANS

Last updated on 4 December 2013

Yellowfin tuna are included under a multi-year conservation and management program for bigeye tuna in the Atlantic Ocean (ICCAT 2012a).

Senegal
Longlines

Last updated on 10 March 2011

None are foreseen under the current management policy.

United States
Set gillnets (anchored)

Last updated on 12 November 2013

There is no US specific recovery plan for yellowfin tuna but they have been added to the bigeye multi-annual recovery plan instituted by the International Commission for the Conservation of Tuna. The US as a cooperating member complies with management measures in this plan (ICCAT 2012a).

Saint Helena
Mechanized lines

Last updated on 26 November 2011

None are foreseen under the current management policy.

Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 26 November 2011

None are foreseen under the current management policy.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 10 June 2014

The ICCAT has adhered to scientific advice and set a TAC of 110,000 t for yellowfin tuna in 2012. Catches have been below this level since 2012 {ICCAT 2016}.

Panama
Longlines

Last updated on 14 August 2012

MCS operations are conducted in joint co-ordination with DIGEREMA and Servicio Maritimo Nacional (FAO 2001). A wide range of IUU fishing and fishing gear violations are noted in Panama’s artisanal and industrial fisheries (FAO 2001). Compliance cannot be calculated as there are no catch limits or TAC reported for this fishery in Panama waters.

Senegal
Longlines

Last updated on 6 September 2012

Compliance is relatively poor in some sectors. There are no fishing quotas for foreign fishing vessels, poor transparency and existence of scrupulous agreements with foreign ship owners is also reported (Agazzi 2011).

Tuna landings are monitored and sampled at Dakar port and small-scale landings by officials of the Recherche et statistiques Le Centre de Recherches Océanographiques de Dakar Thiaroye (CRODT) (ICCAT 2102). However, monitoring of transshipments at sea and landings in foreign ports remain a governance deficit.

United States
Set gillnets (anchored)

Last updated on 12 November 2013

The United States has complied with international management measures and instituted some of their own domestic regulations.

Saint Helena
Mechanized lines

Last updated on 26 November 2011

Bulk of the fishery is concentrated very close to the shore, so offshore waters and sea mounts are not patrolled for illegal fishing by foreign fleets (Carleton et al., 2010).

Although, the small size of the fishing fleet and single landing point make it difficult for fisheries violations to go undetected; lack of regulations, observer scheme and regular sea and aerial patrols are gaps that need attention (Carleton et al., 2010).

Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 26 November 2011

Bulk of the fishery is concentrated very close to the shore, so offshore waters and sea mounts are not patrolled for illegal fishing by foreign fleets (Carleton et al., 2010).

Although, the small size of the fishing fleet and single landing point make it difficult for fisheries violations to go undetected; lack of regulations, observer scheme and regular sea and aerial patrols are gaps that need attention (Carleton et al., 2010).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

ETP SPECIES

Last updated on 24 November 2010

Bycatch of seabirds, sea turtles, marine mammals and sharks in purse seine and pelagic longline tuna fisheries threatens some populations with extinction.Bycatch of juvenile tunas and unmarketable species and/or sizes of other fish in purse seine fisheries, and juvenile swordfish in longline fisheries, contribute to the overexploitation of some stocks, and is an allocation issue among gear types and fishing nations (Gilman and Lundin, 2010).

Senegal
Longlines

Last updated on 6 September 2012

Bycatch of seabirds, sea turtles, marine mammals and sharks in purse seine and pelagic longline tuna fisheries threatens some populations with extinction. Bycatch of juvenile tunas and unmarketable species and/or sizes of other fish in purse seine fisheries, and juvenile swordfish in longline fisheries, contribute to the overexploitation of some stocks, and is an allocation issue among gear types and fishing nations (Gilman and Lundin, 2010).

Several green turtles nesting sites are reported along the Senegal coastline (WWF 2007). But, there is no information on interactions with sea turtles and other marine mammals within the EEZ.

Spain
Longlines

Last updated on 26 July 2012

Bycatch of seabirds, sea turtles, marine mammals and sharks in purse seine and pelagic longline tuna fisheries threatens some populations with extinction. Bycatch of juvenile tunas and unmarketable species and/or sizes of other fish in purse seine fisheries, and juvenile swordfish in longline fisheries, contribute to the overexploitation of some stocks, and is an allocation issue among gear types and fishing nations (Gilman and Lundin, 2010).

United States
Set gillnets (anchored)

Last updated on 12 November 2013

Greenstick gear does not regularly capture any PET species.

Longlines

Last updated on 23 June 2010

NMFS allocates observers in areas with high observed or reported bycatch rates of pilot whales, with a 17.3% observer overage in 2009.

Turtle interactions with PLL fishing vessels and discards of non-target species are monitored through observer coverage.

Saint Helena
Mechanized lines

Last updated on 26 November 2011

St Helena Endangered Species Protection Ordinance stipulates that it is illegal to catch or kill cetaceans, turtles and sea birds. There is minimal interaction with these species in pole and line fisheries, and mandate to release any accidental catch poses less threat to these animals.

Cetacean sightings (Humpback Whales; Dolphins) are anecdotally reported, and their documentation remains inadequate in St Helena waters (Weir 2010 ; Bennett and MacLeod 2006).

Hawksbilland green turtles occur in St Helena waters throughout the year but are rarely monitored (Carleton et al 2010).

Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 26 November 2011

St Helena Endangered Species Protection Ordinance stipulates that it is illegal to catch or kill cetaceans, turtles and sea birds. There is minimal interaction with these species in pole and line fisheries, and mandate to release any accidental catch poses less threat to these animals.

Cetacean sightings (Humpback Whales; Dolphins) are anecdotally reported, and their documentation remains inadequate in St Helena waters (Weir 2010 ; Bennett and MacLeod 2006).

Hawksbilland green turtles occur in St Helena waters throughout the year but are rarely monitored (Carleton et al 2010).

OTHER TARGET AND BYCATCH SPECIES

Last updated on 18 October 2012

Large longline vessels generally catch older age classes of bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) and bluefin tunas (T. maccoyii [southern], T. orientalis [Pacific] and T. thynnus [Atlantic]) for the sashimi market and some longline fleets target albacore (T. alalunga) for canning.Purse seine vessels target younger age classes of skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) and yellowfin (T. albacares) tuna for canning with incidental catch of bigeye tuna

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, as well as high sea turtle and shark bycatch rates, relative to unassociated sets (Fonteneau et al., 2000; Romanov, 2002; Bromhead et al., 2003; Secretariat of the Pacific Community, 2006; WCPFC, 2007; An et al., 2009; Nicol et al., 2009).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 (Marsac et al., 2000; Bromhead et al., 2003; Hallier and Gaertner, 2008; WCPFC, 2009; Dagorn et al., 2010).

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)..

Grenada
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 4 December 2013

Large longline vessels generally catch older age classes of bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) and bluefin tunas (T. maccoyii [southern], T. orientalis [Pacific] and T. thynnus [Atlantic]) for the sashimi market and some longline fleets target albacore (T. alalunga) for canning.Purse seine vessels target younger age classes of skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) and yellowfin (T. albacares) tuna for canning with incidental catch of bigeye tuna

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).

Brazil
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 4 December 2013

Large longline vessels generally catch older age classes of bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) and bluefin tunas (T. maccoyii [southern], T. orientalis [Pacific] and T. thynnus [Atlantic]) for the sashimi market and some longline fleets target albacore (T. alalunga) for canning.Purse seine vessels target younger age classes of skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) and yellowfin (T. albacares) tuna for canning with incidental catch of bigeye tuna

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 (Marsac et al., 2000; Bromhead et al., 2003; Hallier and Gaertner, 2008; WCPFC, 2009; Dagorn et al., 2010).

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).

Panama
Longlines

Last updated on 17 October 2012

Worldwide there are reports of problematic bycatch of sea turtles, sea birds and marine mammals in longline fisheries targeting tunas (Lewison et al., 2004). Bycatch rates of longline vessels has been estimated to vary for fleets operating in different parts of the Atlantic Ocean (Lewison and Crowder 2007). Estimates from Lewison et al., (2004) suggest that overall for the Atlantic Ocean, 210,000 to 280,000 loggerhead turtles and 30,250 to 70,000 leatherback turtles are caught as bycatch each year. Longline fisheries are also reported to have problematic bycatch of seabirds (Gilman 2001; Gilman et al., 2005; Lewison and Crowder 2003) and sharks (Gilman et al., 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, as well as high sea turtle and shark bycatch rates, relative to unassociated sets (Fonteneau et al., 2000; Romanov, 2002; Bromhead et al., 2003; Secretariat of the Pacific Community, 2006; Nicol et al., 2009). 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 (Marsac et al., 2000; Bromhead et al., 2003; Hallier and Gaertner, 2008; Dagorn et al., 2010).

Senegal
Longlines

Last updated on 6 September 2012

Large longline vessels generally catch older age classes of bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) and bluefin tunas (T. maccoyii [southern], T. orientalis [Pacific] and T. thynnus [Atlantic]) for the sashimi market and some longline fleets target albacore (T. alalunga)for canning. Purse seine vessels target younger age classes of skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) and yellowfin (T. albacares) tuna for canning with incidental catch of bigeye tuna.

The lone longliner targeted swordfish, but other species such as sharks, marlin and sailfish were also caught in this fishery within the Senegalese EEZ (ICCAT 2012). In 2010, the lone longliner caught 180 tonnes swordfish, 56 tonnes blue sharks, 17 tonnes mako sharks, other sharks 5.7 tonnes, 1.4 tonnes hammer head sharks, 22 tonnes yellowfin tuna, 21 tonnes albacore, 12 tonnes marlins and 0.7 tonnes sailfish (ICCAT 2012).

Spain
Longlines

Last updated on 27 July 2012

Large longline vessels generally catch older age classes of bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) and bluefin tunas (T. maccoyii [southern], T. orientalis [Pacific] and T. thynnus [Atlantic]) for the sashimi market and some longline fleets target albacore (T. alalunga) for canning.

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).

Worldwide there are reports of problematic bycatch of sea turtles, sea birds and marine mammals in longline fisheries targeting tunas (Lewison et al., 2004). Bycatch rates of longline vessels has been estimated to vary for fleets operating in different parts of the Atlantic Ocean (Lewison and Crowder 2007). Estimates from Lewison et al., (2004) suggest that overall for the Atlantic Ocean, 210,000 to 280,000 loggerhead turtles and 30,250 to 70,000 leatherback turtles are caught as bycatch each year. Longline fisheries are also reported to have problematic bycatch of seabirds (Gilman 2001; Gilman et al., 2005) and sharks (Gilman et al., 2007). During the 2004-2004 years, around 70% of the Spanish longline catches comprised of sharks (mostly blue sharks 82% and 14% mako sharks) Mejuto et al., 2006; Oceana 2006).

Trinidad and Tobago
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 4 December 2013

The offshore longline fleet targeting large pelagics has bycatch of swordfish, marlins and longbill spearfish (Anon 2007).There is also problematic bycatch of sharks in T&T longline fishery,with most of the longliners retaining shark fins and discarding carcasses at sea (Anon 2012). There are also reported mortalities of Leatherback sea turtles (Critically Endangered Species) in Longline and other artisanal fishing gear off T&T waters. A research report by Institute of Marine Affairs in 2002, reported that over 3000 turtles were caught in fishing gear, with atleast 33% of them resulting in moralities (Nature Seekers Trinidad and Tobago Leatherback Project).

Gear not known

Last updated on 20 December 2010

The offshore longline fleet targeting large pelagics has bycatch of swordfish, marlins and longbill spearfish (Anon 2007). There is also problematic bycatch of sharks in T&T longline fishery, with most of the longliners retaining shark fins and discarding carcasses at sea (Anon 2012). There are also reported mortalities of Leatherback sea turtles (Critically Endangered Species) in Longline and other artisanal fishing gear off T&T waters. A research
report by Institute of Marine Affairs in 2002, reported that over 3000 turtles were caught in fishing gear, with atleast 33% of them resulting in moralities (Nature Seekers Trinidad and Tobago Leatherback Project).

United States
Set gillnets (anchored)

Last updated on 12 November 2013

Greenstick gear catches several additional species of tuna including skipjack, bigeye and blackfin and very low amounts of bony fish, such as dolphinfish.

Bigeye tuna: Bigeye tuna in the Atlantic were last assessed in 2010. Large declines in abundance occurred during the mid 1990’s, but over the past five to six years there appears to have been an increase in abundance. In 2010 the biomass was estimated to be between 72% and 134% of the biomass at maximum sustainable levels (MSY) (median 101%). However, median estimates of B/BMSY from the late 1990’s to 2008/09 were below 1. Uncertainty surrounding the best method to represent the dynamics of the stock, indices of abundance and calculation of model inputs were very large in this assessment {ICCAT 2010a}. The United States is not a major contributor to overall catches in the Atlantic. The greenstick pilot program only caught 4 (<1% total catch) bigeye tuna (NOAA 2012). Bigeye tuna in the Atlantic were last assessed in 2010. The maximum sustainalbe yield (MSY) was estimated to range between 78,700 t to 101,600 t, with a median value of 92,000 t. Fishing mortality has historically been high, particularly during the mid 1990’s at which point fishing mortality was higher than FMSY. In recent years, fishing mortality rates have declined and are currently estimated to be between 65% and 155% of FMSY, with the median value being 95% {ICCAT 2010a}.

Blackfin tuna: In Atlantic waters, blackfin tuna are assessed along with 13 other “small tuna” species. Currently there is not enough information to conduct a full assessment of this group {ICCAT 2012a}. According to the IUCN, blackfin tuna are a species of Least Concern with a stable population trend and is considered one of the most common tuna species in the western Atlantic {Collette et al. 2011a}. During a pilot program for greenstick gear, blackfin tuna represented almost 10% of the total catch (NOAA 2012). They are caught by a variety of gears but there is no indication that overfishing is occurring {Collette et al. 2011a}. Blackfin tuna make up a small proportion of “small tuna” catches in the Atlantic Ocean. No assessment has been conducted due to a lack of data. Landings have been variable over the years, peaking in the early 1990’s but showing no consistent trend over time {ICCAT 2012a}. They are caught by a variety of gears but there is no indication that overfishing is occurring {Collette et al. 2011a}.

Skipjack tuna: Stock assessments for skipjack tuna are difficult to employ due to their biology and fishery characteristics. In the Atlantic Ocean, an eastern and western stock of skipjack tuna are assessed. According to the most recent assessment conducted in 2008, the biomass in both regions is likely above BMSY and the population is not overfished {ICCAT 2009b). In the US greenstick fishery, skipjack tuna made up 38% of the catch during pilot studies {NOAA 2012}. Stock assessments for skipjack tuna are difficult to conduct based on their life history and the fishery characteristics. The last assessment in the Atlantic was conducted in 2009 for a eastern and western population. The assessment determined that the maximum sustainable yield in the eastern and western sections were 143,000-170,000 t and 30,000-36,000 t respectively and that fishing mortality was likely below FMSY in both regions {ICCAT 2009b}.

Management measures: There are no management measures in place for blackfin in any tuna fishery. There are no catch limits for bigeye or skipjack tuna but there is a size limit of greater than 27 inches for bigeye tuna. Permits are required to target tunas in US waters.

Longlines

Last updated on 23 June 2010

In Gulf of Mexico Yellowfin tuna fishery to minimise bycatch, NMFS regulation prohibit use of livebait (NOAA 2010). Further in the Gulf of Mexico, with the exception of Northeast Distant Waters (NED), circle hooks (16/0 or larger non-offset and 18/0 or larger with an offset not exceeding 10 degrees) are required.

To minimise by-catch in the The South Atlantic – Florida East Coast to Cape Hatteras Swordfish Fishery two closures are in place to minimise bycatch and interaction with protected species:
1) Florida East Coast closed area (year-round closure)
2) Charleston Bump closed area (February through April closure)

Vessels fishing in the NED area, are required to use 18/0 or larger circle hooks with an offset not exceeding 10 degrees and whole mackerel or squid baits.

All PLL fishing vessel owners and operators are required to be certified and trained in handling and release of sea turtles and protected species.

Data collected from Pelagic longline observer (POP) coverage in2009 showed, 243 interactions with Loggerhead sea turtles, 286 interactions with Leatherback turtles, and 144 interactions with marine mammals were observed in the U.S. Atlantic Pelagic Longline Fishery (NOAA 2010). Of the 150 interactions with sea birds, 108 birds were found dead, while 42 were released alive (NOAA 2010).

Saint Helena
Mechanized lines

Last updated on 26 November 2011

Data for discards is not available for yellowfin tuna fisheries in St Helena waters; data on bycatch landed is available in Carleton et al (2010).

Decapterus spp. are regularly caught for use as baitfish in Tuna fisheries; but such catches remain unquantified.

Information from Carleton et al (2010) suggests that with the exception of some sharks most of the other bycatch is landed for domestic consumption. The same source suggests that discards are often less, with any occasional catch of blue sharks caught released into water.

Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 26 November 2011

Data for discards is not available for yellowfin tuna fisheries in St Helena waters; data on bycatch landed is available in Carleton et al (2010).

Decapterus spp. are regularly caught for use as baitfish in Tuna fisheries; but such catches remain unquantified.

Information from Carleton et al (2010) suggests that with the exception of some sharks most of the other bycatch is landed for domestic consumption. The same source suggests that discards are often less, with any occasional catch of blue sharks caught released into water.

HABITAT

Last updated on 24 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.

Panama
Longlines

Last updated on 14 August 2012

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 sea floor. Lost and discarded gear can damage coastal habitats.

Senegal
Longlines

Last updated on 6 September 2012

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

United States
Set gillnets (anchored)

Last updated on 12 November 2013

Greenstick gear is likely to causes minimal if any damage to bottom habitats.

Saint Helena
Mechanized lines

Last updated on 26 November 2011

Pole and line and other pelagic fishing gear does not come in contact with bottom and has nominal effect on marine habitats.

Pole-lines hand operated

Last updated on 26 November 2011

Pole and line and other pelagic fishing gear does not come in contact with bottom and has nominal effect on marine habitats.

MARINE RESERVES

Last updated on 27 July 2012

ICCAT has implemented a ban on fishing with Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) in a small area off Gulf of Guinea to protect juvenile yellowfin tuna.

Panama
Longlines

Last updated on 14 August 2012

ICCAT has implemented a ban on fishing with Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) in a small area off Gulf of Guinea to protect juvenile yellowfin tuna.

Senegal
Longlines

Last updated on 6 September 2012

ICCAT has implemented a ban on fishing with Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) in a small area off Gulf of Guinea to protect juvenile yellowfin tuna.

United States
Longlines

Last updated on 23 June 2010

Area / Time closures in place to protect non-target species and reduce mortality of juvenile tuna and swordfish species.

1) Northeastern US Closure (closed to PLL fishing vessels in June)
2) Cape Hatteras Special Research Area (CHSRA) – PLL Special observer coverage.
3) Northeast Distant PLL gear restricted area
4) Charleston Bump (Closed from Feb 1 to April 30, every year)
5) Florida East Coast (Closed to PLL throughout the year)
6) De Sote Canyon (Closed to PLL all year)

FishSource Scores

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

There are management objectives set for this stock, but no harvest control rule is used in TAC-setting.

As calculated for 2015 data.

This measures the Set TAC as a percentage of the Advised TAC.

The Set TAC is 110 ('000 t). The Advised TAC is 110 ('000 t) .

The underlying Set TAC/Advised TAC for this index is 100%.

As calculated for 2015 data.

This measures the Catch as a percentage of the Set TAC.

The Catch is 109 ('000 t). The Set TAC is 110 ('000 t) .

The underlying Catch/Set TAC for this index is 99.0%.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2014 data.

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

The Ratio SSB/SSBmsy is 0.950 . The SSB=SSBmsy is 1.00 .

The underlying Ratio SSB/SSBmsy/SSB=SSBmsy for this index is 95.0%.

As calculated for 2014 data.

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

The Ratio F/Fmsy is 0.770 . The F management target is 1.00 .

The underlying Ratio F/Fmsy/F management target for this index is 77.0%.

HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE RISK

High Medium Low

This indicates the potential risk of human rights abuses for all fisheries operating within this stock or assessment unit. If there are more than on risk level noted, individual fisheries have different levels. Click on the "Select Scores" drop-down list for your fisheries of interest.

No data available for recruitment
DATA NOTES
Grenada
Drifting longlines

Last updated on 23 December 2010

1)The time series of F and SSB are provided relative to MSY (F/FMSY, B/BMSY); the thresholds have been set accordingly. 2) No information on TACs thus scores 2 and cannot be computed. 3) There is no Blrp in place thus score cannot be computed.

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: 1 Sep 2016
Type: Fip

Comments:

 

FIP rated A. FIP reported Stage 4 result within the  last 12 months  - verification of successful implementation and outcomes of  the code of practice  (observers on vessels) 

1.
FIP Development
Sep 15
2.
FIP Launch
Jan 16
Sep 16
3.
FIP Implementation
Sep 17
4.
Improvements in Fishing Practices and Fishery Management
Sep 17
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

Southeast US North Atlantic big eye tuna and yellowfin tuna

STATUS

Withdrawn on 18 June 2014

SCORES

Certification Type:

Sources

Credits

An H-H, Kwon Y-J, Kim, D.N, Moon, D.Y., Hwang, S.J. 2009. Effects of set type on catch of small-sized tuna by the Korean tuna purse seine fishery in the WCPO. Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Scientific Committee Fifth Regular Session, 10-21 August 2009, Port Vila, Vanuatu. Information Paper Number WCPFC-SC5-2009/FT-WP-02. Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, Palikir, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia.

Bromhead D, Foster J, Attard R, Findlay J, Kalish J. 2003.. A review of the impacts of fish aggregating devices (FADs) on tuna fisheries. Final Report to the Fisheries Resources Research Fund. Bureau of Rural Sciences, Canberra, ACT, Australia.

Cramer, J. 2003. Distribution of juvenile swordfish (Xiphias gladius) caught by pelagic longline in the Atlantic Ocean. Col. Vol. Sci. Pap. ICCAT 55(4): 1587-1596.

Dagorn, L., Holland, K.N., Filmalter, J. 2010. Are drifting FADs essential for testing the ecological trap hypothesis? Fisheries Research,doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2010.07.002.

Fonteneau A, Pallares P, Pianet R. 2000. A worldwide review of purse seine fisheries on FADs. In: Le Gall JY, Cayré P, Taquet M (eds) Pêche thonière et dispositifs de concentration de poissons. Actes Colloques‐IFREMER 28:15–35.

Gilman, E., Lundin, C. 2010. Minimizing Bycatch of Sensitive Species Groups in Marine Capture Fisheries: Lessons from Commercial Tuna Fisheries. pp. 150-164 IN: Grafton, Q., Hillborn, R., Squires, D., Tait, M., Williams, M. (Eds.). Handbook of Marine Fisheries Conservation and Management. Oxford University Press.

Hallier, J.P., Gaertner, D., 2008. Drifting fish aggregation devices could act as an ecological trap for tropical tuna species. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 353, 255-264.

ICCAT. 2008. 2008 ICCAT Joint Stock Assessment of Atlantic Skipjack and Yellowfin Tuna (SCRS/2008/016). International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, Madrid.

ICCAT. 2010. Report on the Standing Committee on Research and Statistics (SCRS). ICCAT, Madrid, Spain October 4-8, 2010.

ICCAT. 2011. Report of the 2011 ICCAT Yellowfin Tuna Stock Assessment Session, San Sebastián, Spain – September 5 to 12, 2011, ICCAT, 113 pages.

ICCAT. 2016. Report of the 2016 ICCAT yellowfin tuna stock assessment meeting. San Sebastian, Spain, June 27-July 1, 2016.

International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). 2012a. Report of the standing committee on research and statistics (SCRS). PLE-104/2012, Madrid, Spain, 1-5 October 2012.

Marsac, F., Fonteneau A., Ménard, F., 2000. Drifting FADs used in tuna fisheries: and ecological trap? In: Le Gall, J.Y., Cayré, P., Taquet, M. (Eds.), Pêche thonière et dispositifs de concentration de poisons. Actes Colloques-IFREMER. 28, 537-552.

Nicol S., Lawson T., Briand K., Kirby D., Molony B., Bromhead D., Williams P., Schneiter E., Kumoru L., Hampton J. 2009. Characterisation of the tuna purse seine fishery in Papua New Guinea. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra, Australia. ISBN 978 1 921531 77 4.

Romanov, E. 2002. Bycatch in the tuna purse-seine fisheries of the western Indian Ocean. Fish. Bull. 100(1): 90-105.

Secretariat of the Pacific Community. 2006. Preliminary Review of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean Purse Seine Fishery. Prepared for the Internal Meeting of Pacific Island Parties to the South Pacific Regional U.S. Multilateral Treaty, March 6-8, Honolulu, Hawaii. Oceanic Fisheries Programme, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia. 18 pp.

Ward, P., Porter, J., Elscot, S. 2008. Broadbill swordfish: status of established fisheries and lessons for developing fisheries. Fish and Fisheries 1(4): 317-336.

WCPFC. 2007. Conservation and Management Measure to Mitigate the Impact of Fishing for Highly Migratory Fish Stocks on Seabirds. CMM 2007-04. Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, Palikir, Federated States of Micronesia.

WCPFC. 2009. Conservation and Management Measure for Sharks. Conservation and Management Measure 2009-04. Sixth Regular Session, 7-11 December 2009, Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia. Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, Palikir, Federated States of Micronesia.

References

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