SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Thunnus albacares

SPECIES NAME(s)

Yellowfin tuna

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


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • Yellowfin tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean are managed at the international level by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
  • The Secretariat of the Pacific Community conducts regular assessments of tuna and tuna-like species.
  • The biomass is above target levels and fishing mortality rates are sustainable.
  • There are limit reference points in place for this species.
Weaknesses
  • In recent years, there has been an increased lack of transparency with regard to the WCPFC decision making process.
  • Significant amounts of juvenile yellowfin tuna are caught in fish aggregating device (FAD)-based purse seining fisheries.
  • No harvest control rule is imposed and there are no target reference points.
  • Timely submissions and data accuracy from some member countries, including Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, has been identified as an issue by the WCPFC Scientific Committee.
  • Mandated observer coverage rates by the WCPFC in the longline fishery is low (5%) compared to other fisheries (i.e. purse seine, 100%) and many fleets still do not reach this threshold.
  • Bycatch of ecologically important species such as sharks, sea turtles and sea birds continues to be a problem in many fisheries targeting yellowfin tuna.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6 to ≥ 8

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6 to ≥ 8

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 6 to ≥ 10

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

9 to 9.5

Future Health:

8.8 to 9.1


RECOMMENDATIONS

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

FIPS

  • Hawaii tuna and large pelagics - longline:

    Stage 5, Progress Rating B

  • Indonesia Banda Sea Yellowfin Tuna - handline:

    Stage 4, Progress Rating A

  • Indonesia Southeast Sulawesi yellowfin tuna and skipjack tuna - purse seine:

    Stage 2

  • Indonesia Western and Central Pacific Ocean yellowfin tuna - handline:

    Stage 5, Progress Rating B

  • Indonesia Western and Central Pacific Ocean yellowfin tuna - pole & line:

    Stage 4, Progress Rating A

  • Marshall Islands bigeye and yellowfin tuna - longline:

    Stage 5, Progress Rating A

  • Pacific tuna - longline:

    Stage 4, Progress Rating A

  • Philippines yellowfin tuna - handline:

    Stage 4, Progress Rating B

  • Vietnam yellowfin tuna - longline/handline:

    Stage 5, Progress Rating A

  • Western and Central Pacific Ocean tropical tuna - purse seine (OPAGAC):

    Stage 5, Progress Rating A

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Fiji albacore tuna longline:

    MSC Certified

  • Kiribati albacore, bigeye and yellowfin tuna longline fishery:

    MSC Full Assessment

  • North Buru and Maluku Fair Trade Fishing Associations, Indonesian Handline Yellowfin Tuna:

    MSC Full Assessment

  • PNA Western and Central Pacific skipjack and yellowfin:

    MSC Certified

  • PNG Fishing Industry Association’s purse seine Skipjack & Yellowfin Tuna Fishery:

    MSC Full Assessment

  • PT Citraraja Ampat, Sorong pole and line Skipjack and Yellowfin Tuna:

    MSC Certified

  • Solomon Islands longline albacore and yellowfin tuna fishery:

    MSC Full Assessment

  • Solomon Islands skipjack and yellowfin tuna purse seine and pole and line:

    MSC Certified

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

    MSC Certified

  • SZLC CSFC & FZLC FSM EEZ Longline Yellowfin and Bigeye Tuna:

    MSC Certified

  • Tri Marine Western and Central Pacific skipjack and yellowfin tuna:

    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.

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

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 16 August 2018

Strengths
  • Yellowfin tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean are managed at the international level by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
  • The Secretariat of the Pacific Community conducts regular assessments of tuna and tuna-like species.
  • The biomass is above target levels and fishing mortality rates are sustainable.
  • There are limit reference points in place for this species.
Weaknesses
  • In recent years, there has been an increased lack of transparency with regard to the WCPFC decision making process.
  • Significant amounts of juvenile yellowfin tuna are caught in fish aggregating device (FAD)-based purse seining fisheries.
  • No harvest control rule is imposed and there are no target reference points.
  • Timely submissions and data accuracy from some member countries, including Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, has been identified as an issue by the WCPFC Scientific Committee.
  • Mandated observer coverage rates by the WCPFC in the longline fishery is low (5%) compared to other fisheries (i.e. purse seine, 100%) and many fleets still do not reach this threshold.
  • Bycatch of ecologically important species such as sharks, sea turtles and sea birds continues to be a problem in many fisheries targeting yellowfin tuna.
RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 15 October 2018

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

Last updated on 15 October 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Ensure timely submission of longline datasets (i.e. catches, effort, size) needed for robust stock assessments as required by the WCPFC including operational (i.e. set-by-set) data. Continue cooperation with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) regarding the provision of longline operational data for use in stock assessments.
Japan

Last updated on 15 October 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Ensure timely submission of longline datasets (i.e. catches, effort, size) needed for robust stock assessments as required by the WCPFC including operational (i.e. set-by-set) data. Continue cooperation with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) regarding the provision of longline operational data for use in stock assessments.
Kiribati
FAD-free

Last updated on 27 December 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.
Korea, Republic of

Last updated on 15 October 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Ensure timely submission of longline datasets (i.e. catches, effort, size) needed for robust stock assessments as required by the WCPFC including operational (i.e. set-by-set) data. Continue cooperation with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) regarding the provision of longline operational data for use in stock assessments.
Marshall Islands
FAD-free

Last updated on 27 December 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.
Micronesia, Federated States of
FAD-free

Last updated on 27 December 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.
Nauru
FAD-free

Last updated on 27 December 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.
Palau
FAD-free

Last updated on 27 December 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.
Papua New Guinea
FAD-free

Last updated on 27 December 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.
Solomon Islands
Purse seines

Last updated on 27 December 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.
FAD-free

Last updated on 27 December 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.
  • 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.
    Taiwan, Province of China

    Last updated on 15 October 2018

    Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
    • Ensure timely submission of longline datasets (i.e. catches, effort, size) needed for robust stock assessments as required by the WCPFC including operational (i.e. set-by-set) data. Continue cooperation with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) regarding the provision of longline operational data for use in stock assessments.
    Tuvalu
    FAD-free

    Last updated on 27 December 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.
    China

    Last updated on 15 October 2018

    Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
    • Ensure timely submission of longline datasets (i.e. catches, effort, size) needed for robust stock assessments as required by the WCPFC including operational (i.e. set-by-set) data. Continue cooperation with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) regarding the provision of longline operational data for use in stock assessments.
    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.
    Indonesia

    Last updated on 15 October 2018

    Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
    Pole-lines hand operated

    Last updated on 27 December 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.
    Japan

    Last updated on 15 October 2018

    Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
    • Ensure timely submission of longline datasets (i.e. catches, effort, size) needed for robust stock assessments as required by the WCPFC including operational (i.e. set-by-set) data. Continue cooperation with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) regarding the provision of longline operational data for use in stock assessments.
    Korea, Republic of

    Last updated on 15 October 2018

    Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
    • Ensure timely submission of longline datasets (i.e. catches, effort, size) needed for robust stock assessments as required by the WCPFC including operational (i.e. set-by-set) data. Continue cooperation with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) regarding the provision of longline operational data for use in stock assessments.
    Taiwan, Province of China

    Last updated on 15 October 2018

    Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
    • Ensure timely submission of longline datasets (i.e. catches, effort, size) needed for robust stock assessments as required by the WCPFC including operational (i.e. set-by-set) data. Continue cooperation with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) regarding the provision of longline operational data for use in stock assessments.
    United States
    FAD-free

    Last updated on 27 December 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 16 January 2018

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

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

    SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

    Last updated on 16 January 2018

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

    Reference Points

    Last updated on 16 Jan 2018

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

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

    Last updated on 16 January 2018

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

    Trends

    Last updated on 16 Jan 2018

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

    2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

    MANAGEMENT

    Last updated on 13 September 2018

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

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

    Recovery Plans

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

    Malaysia
    Hooks and lines

    Last updated on 6 June 2014

    Fisheries in Malaysia are managed by the Malaysian Department of Fisheries (DOF) {Flewwelling and Hosch 2006b}. Thailand and Malaysia have developed a Joint Development Area (JDA) in the Gulf of Thailand, and fishermen from both regions can fish in the JDA {Banks 2011}.In addition, Malaysia uses a limited access fishery, and gear and vessel size restrictions {Flewwelling and Hosch 2006b}. Malaysia has not yet implemented a logbook system to record and monitor catch and effort data. However, vessels fishing further than 12 nm from shore must fill out and submit a vessels operation report, which does include catch and effort data and there is a port sampling program in place. Vessel monitoring systems are used on vessels operating on the high seas and there is a National Plan of Action to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) {Flewwelling and Hosch 2006b}{DOF 2013}{Samsudin et al. 2013}.

    Last updated on 28 January 2019

    Vietnam's fisheries are managed by the Directorate of Fisheries and Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Vietnam 2018). Ministerial Decision No 3562/BNN-TCTS, adopted in September of 2015, is the official tuna management plan for Vietnam (Vietnam 2018). The plan was still be implemented in 2016. The Directorate is currently working to improve management of tuna through establishing a tuna data collection system (Vietnam 2018). Vietnam is part of the West Pacific East Asian Oceanic Fisheries Management Project, funded by the Global Environment Facilities and being implemented by the WCPFC (Vietnam 2018).This project is working to build capacity in several countries, including Vietnam, to conserve and manage highly migratory species such as tuna (Vietnam 2018)

    Recovery Plan

    Vietnam does not have a recovery plan in place for yellowfin tuna.

    Viet Nam
    Longlines

    Last updated on 28 January 2019

    The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) manages fisheries in Vietnam. Under the current fisheries law, a combination of three management techniques can be used, technical measures, total allowable catch and effort control. Vietnam has developed a National Tuna Management Plan (NTMP). The current version includes management measures for line fisheries targeting bigeye and yellowfin tuna in the Binh Dinh, Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa province from 2013-2015. In addition, Vietnamese flagged vessels fishing outside of the Vietnamese EEZ. This NTMP is to be reviewed after 30 months of implementation. Objectives of the NTMP include revising legal regulations for managing tuna in Vietnam, establish and maintain data collection systems following guidance from the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), maintain tuna resources at MSY levels, and cooperation with international organizations {Hai and Anh 2012}.

    There are currently five data collection methods allowed for under Vietnamese fishery law: scientific surveys, observer programs, logbook, landings enumeration and socio-economic surveys. Scientific surveys of the tuna fisheries are not conducted regularly. Observer data has been collected from longline vessel. Logbook data reporting rates are very low, only 165 in the Binh Dinh province. The three Provinces are to report total landings annually through the landings enumeration program. In addition there has been a port sampling program in place since 2009 {Hai and Anh 2012}. Since 2010, due to national catch statistics being “unreliable”, Vietnam has been improving its data collection system through a West Pacific East Asia Oceanic Fisheries Management project. The aim is to meet the data standards of the WCPFC, of which Vietnam is a cooperating-non member {Vietnam 2013}. The WCPFC has asked members not to increase fishing effort for yellowfin tuna {WCPFC 2013}.

    Drifting longlines

    Last updated on 5 June 2014

    The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) manages fisheries in Vietnam. Under the current fisheries law, a combination of three management techniques can be used, technical measures, total allowable catch and effort control. Vietnam has developed a National Tuna Management Plan (NTMP). The current version includes management measures for line fisheries targeting bigeye and yellowfin tuna in the Binh Dinh, Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa province from 2013-2015. In addition, Vietnamese flagged vessels fishing outside of the Vietnamese EEZ. This NTMP is to be reviewed after 30 months of implementation. Objectives of the NTMP include revising legal regulations for managing tuna in Vietnam, establish and maintain data collection systems following guidance from the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), maintain tuna resources at MSY levels, and cooperation with international organizations {Hai and Anh 2012}.

    There are currently five data collection methods allowed for under Vietnamese fishery law: scientific surveys, observer programs, logbook, landings enumeration and socio-economic surveys. Scientific surveys of the tuna fisheries are not conducted regularly. Observer data has been collected from longline vessel. Logbook data reporting rates are very low, only 165 in the Binh Dinh province. The three Provinces are to report total landings annually through the landings enumeration program. In addition there has been a port sampling program in place since 2009 {Hai and Anh 2012}. Since 2010, due to national catch statistics being “unreliable”, Vietnam has been improving its data collection system through a West Pacific East Asia Oceanic Fisheries Management project. The aim is to meet the data standards of the WCPFC, of which Vietnam is a cooperating-non member {Vietnam 2013}. The WCPFC has asked members not to increase fishing effort for yellowfin tuna {WCPFC 2013}.

    Australia

    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 yellow tuna was set at 2,200 t. The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) has yet to set a catch limit for yellowfin tuna, although the Commission is supposed to do so during the 2014 Commission meeting {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}.

    Recovery Plans

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

    China
    Longlines

    Last updated on 14 April 2015

    The Bureau of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture of China is in charge of managing tuna fisheries. Within this Ministry is the Tuna Technical Working Group {Liuxion 2002}. China is a cooperating member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and therefore must comply with international management measures: catch limits for bigeye tuna caught in longline fisheries -10,673 t in 2013, 9,398 t in 2014, 8,22 t in 2015 and 2016 and 7,049 during 2017 (only countries that caught more than 2000 t in 2004) and in fisheries other than longline, the total fishing effort must be below the average level from 2001-2004 or for 2004 {WCPFC 2012c}(WCPFC 2013}. In addition, China requires vessels to report catch and effort data to the China Overseas Fisheries Association through logbooks. There is also an observer program in place {China 2013}.

    Fiji

    Fiji's Ministry of Fisheries Offshore Fisheries Division is in charge of monitoring, control and surveillance of their tuna fishery. The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community also aid Fiji's fishery. A Tuna Management Development Plan was in place from 2014-2018. Fiji collects information on catches through logbooks, observer programs and port sampling (Fiji 2018).

    French Polynesia
    Longlines

    Last updated on 1 February 2019

    All fishing vessels must have a fishing license to fish and this license lasts the lifetime of the boat, unless it changes hands (French Polynesia 2018). Fishing license for foreign vessels are provided on an annual basis. The activity of the fleet at the fishing port is monitored during the week by the Fisheries Office. Operational level data is required to be submitted via logbooks to the Fisheries Office (French Polynesia 2018).  All catches must be unloaded in the fishing port of Papeete. Fisheries observers are used in this fishery but monitor just over 3% of the longline fishing days (French Polynesia 2018). Port sampling occurs but coverage rates have been very low in recent years. French Polynesia is a Participating Territory of the WCPFC and therfore abides by their management regulations as well (French Polynesia 2018).

    Indonesia

    Last updated on 24 January 2019

    Indonesian Law Number 31/2004 of Fisheries in Article 5 (2) stipulates that fishery management outside the Fishery Management Zones of the Republic of Indonesia shall be carried out in conformity with the laws and regulations, prerequisites, and/or generally accepted international standards. It is conducted to achieve the optimum and sustainable benefits while ensuring sustainable fishery resources (Article 6 (1)). Furthermore, Article 10 stipulated that the Government shall participate actively in the membership of any body/institution/ organization at the regional or international levels with respect to the cooperation for regional and international fishery management. Minister Regulation No. 56/2014 placed a moritorium on fishing licences for vessels built outside of Indonesia (MMAF 2017). Transshipment at sea is prohibited through Minister Regulation No. 57/2014 (MMAF 2017). Indoneisa has an online Record of Vessel Autorized to fish in Indoneisan waters(MMAF 2017).

    The Centre of Data Statistics and Information (CDSI) designs fishing surveys, compiles and analyzes data and published National Capture Fisheries Statistics. The Province Fisheries Services selects is a data validator at the Province level and the District Fisheries Service is teh data validator at the District Level (MMAF 2018)

    Indonesia has created a National Plan of Action for the management of tuna and there is a draft National Tuna Management Plan. The plan includes ways to improve monitoring, identifying catch limits, and aiding in enforcement and compliance measures {MMAF 2012}{MMAF 2014a}. Indonesia also has a National Plan of Action, tuna skipjack and neritic tuna in place {MMAF 2014b}. Indonesia has an observer program in place that does observe the longline, purse seine, handline and pole and line fisheries (MMAF 2017). Indonesia also conducts port sampling at 6 landing sites (Bitung, Kendari, Sodohoa, Sorong, Majene, Gorontalo and Sikka, Maumere) (MMAF 2017).

    Data from fishing ports is collected from logbooks, vessel inspection reports and the observer program (MMAF 2018).

    In 2018, Indonesia launched an interim harvest strategy document for bigeye, skipjack and yellowfin tuna (MMAF 2018).

    Indonesia is also a cooperating member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and is required to abide by the adopted management measures.

    Recovery Plans

    Indonesia does not have their own recovery plan in place but the WCPFC has a multi-year conservation measure in place (WCPFC 2017).

    Japan

    In Japan, fishing is regulated through three laws: The Fisheries Law, the Living Aquatic Resources Protection Law and the Law Concerning Conservation and Management of Marine Living Resources. The three fisheries (coastal, offshore and distant water) are managed differently. Coastal fisheries are managed under a right’s based system under local (prefacture government) Fisherman’s Co-operative Associations. In recent years a total allowable effort practice has bee utilized to reduce the depletion of certain species. Distant water fisheries are managed through the central Government. Effort is limited through the use of licenses, which indicate specific areas, seasons, and gear that can be used. Japan created the Organization for the Promotion of Responsible Tuna Fisheries, which among other things has aided in reducing IUU fishing. Offshore fisheries have the ability to be managed through TAC’s {Schmidt 2003}.

    Japan is a cooperating member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and therefore must implement mandated management measures. The most recent management measures for this species were adopted in 2013 and put into place during 2014. These measures apply to the longline, purse seine and other surface fisheries. For longline fisheries, members agreed to not increase fishing effort aimed at yellowfin tuna {WCPFC 2013}. In addition, Japan has reduced the longline fleet size. Information on catch and effort is collected from longline vessels through mandatory logbooks. These logsheets include information on six species of tuna (Pacific bluefin, southern bluefin, albacore, bigeye, yellowfin and skipjack) and six billfish species (swordfish, striped marlin, blue marlin, black marlin, sailfish, shortbill spearfish). Logbook coverage is currently less than 100% (~90-95% for offshore and distant water longline fisheries). There is also an observer program in place for the longline fishery. Port sampling is also used to collect size data (also voluntarily provided by fishermen){Uosaki et al. 2013}.

    Korea, Republic of
    Longlines

    Last updated on 4 August 2011

    The Korean distant water longline fishery is managed by the Distant Water Fisheries Development Act of 2008. Information on catch and effort is collected through logbook (83% coverage in 2012) and observer programs (5% coverage).Korea has recently implemented improvements to it’s data collection system to help provide timely and necessary information to RFMO’s. As of 2012, logbook data is required to be electronically reported every monthto the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI).Port sampling occurred between 1997 and 2006 but does not appear to occur any longer {Geun et al. 2013}. Korea, being a member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) must also abide by their measures. For yellowfin tuna caught by longline, this includes no increases current catches until 2014 when an appropriate catch limit is to be set {WCPFC 2013c}. Korea does not appear to have any additional yellowfin specific measures in place.

    Marshall Islands
    Drifting longlines

    Last updated on 19 January 2011

    The Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA) is in charge of managing marine resources in the Marshall Islands. A Tuna Management Plan was, after several updates, put into place in 2011. Included in this plan are license requirements (domestic and international vessels), logbooks, reporting requirements, vessel monitoring systems and closed areas. The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and the Secretariat to the Pacific also have roles in the management framework {Collinson et al. 2013}. The Marshall Islands does not currently have an observer program for the longline fishery, although they are working to reinstate one. Catch and effort data is primarily collected through dockside monitoring, which covers 100% of longline unloadings {OIAD 2013}. The Marshall Islands are a cooperating member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and therefore must implement WCPFC adopted management measures. For yellowfin tuna caught in longlines this includes maintaining current catch levels WCPFC 2013}.

    Micronesia, Federated States of
    Longlines

    Last updated on 2 June 2014

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

    Philippines
    Drifting longlines

    Last updated on 18 May 2011

    The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has put into place a catch documentation scheme for tuna vessels. This includes the use of logsheets that record catch and effort but these do not apply to the longline fleet, only purse seine and ring net vessels. Similarly, the current observer program only operates on purse seine vessels. Vessel monitoring systems are used on some vessels. Species composition, size and catch and effort data is collected through port sampling programs. Port sampling has been increased through the West Pacific East Asia Oceanic Fisheries Management Project {Barut and Garvilles 2013}.

    The Philippines are a member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and must abide by their measures. The most recent management measures for this species were adopted in 2013 and put into place during 2014. These measures apply to the longline, purse seine and other surface fisheries. For longline fisheries, members agreed to not increase fishing effort aimed at yellowfin tuna {WCPFC 2013}.

    Taiwan, Province of China
    Longlines

    Last updated on 7 July 2014

    Taiwan is a cooperating member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and therefore must implement WCPFC adopted management measures (WCPFC 2013}. The most recent management measures for this species were adopted in 2013 and put into place during 2014. These measures apply to the longline, purse seine and other surface fisheries. For longline fisheries, members agreed to not increase fishing effort aimed at yellowfin tuna {WCPFC 2013}. Taiwan collects catch and effort data through a logbook program, including information on sharks, sea turtles, sea birds and marine mammals. Logbooks are required to be submitted by all vessels. Taiwan also has an observer program in place and fishing vessels and fish traders must report trade and transshipment data. Port sampling occurs at domestic sites. The tuna fishery is currently operated under a limited entry system {FACA and OFDC 2013}.

    United States
    Longlines

    Last updated on 24 September 2009

    The Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council’s (WPRFMC) Pelagics Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP) includes overfishing thresholds for yellowfin tunas but there are no target or rebuilding control rules or reference points. The FEP does include a limit to the number of longline permits. The WPRFMC will work with the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission to create rebuilding plans if a species is deemed depleted {WPRFMC 2009}.

    Recovery Plans

    Last updated on 24 Sep 2009

    The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission has implemented catch limits for bigeye tuna caught in longline fisheries fishing in the western and central Pacific Ocean. No other recovery plans have been instituted in Hawaiian waters. 


     

    COMPLIANCE

    Last updated on 4 June 2014

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

    Australia

    The Eastern Tuna Billfish Fishery (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 was set for yellowfin tuna 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.

    Indonesia

    There is currently no catch limit in place for yellowfin tuna in Indonesia. The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission has noted in the past that Indonesia was non-compliant with some management measures but compliance seems to have improved in recent years (WCPFC 2018).

    Japan

    There is no TAC in place for yellowfin tuna. Japan appears to comply with other WCPFC mandated management measures such as VMS and observer programs {Uosaki et al. 2013}. Japan has historically participated in negotiations that created the Convention under which the WCPFC operates as well as participating in meetings for the Interim Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean {Schmidt 2003}.

    Korea, Republic of

    Korea has complied with achieving 5% observer coverage in their longline fleet and has made efforts to improve their logbook data collection, which is supplied to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).

    Marshall Islands
    Drifting longlines

    Last updated on 19 January 2011

    The Marshall Islands reports annual catch statistics to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). As of 2012 there was no observer program in place, but the Marshall Islands has until the end of 2014 to obtain the 5% required coverage rate {OIAD 2013}{WCPFC 2012c}.The updated 2013 WCPFC management measures for yellowfin tuna caught in longline fisheries included maintaining current fishing levels. Data is not yet available to determine the Marshall Islands compliance with this measure {WCPFC 2013b}.

    Micronesia, Federated States of
    Longlines

    Last updated on 2 June 2014

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

    Philippines

    IUU fishing by foreign tuna vessels is reportedly causing a annual loss of up to 10,00 MT each year in Philippine waters (PTRP 1995; WCPFC 2011).

    There is no catch limit in place for yellowfin tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean {WCPFC 2013}. The Philippines is working to improve their data collection system {Barut and Garvilles 2013}.

    Taiwan, Province of China
    Longlines

    Last updated on 7 July 2014

    Taiwan complies with the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) mandated measures and reports on them annually {FACA and OFDC 2013}. There is no TAC in place for yellowfin tuna.

    United States
    Longlines

    Last updated on 24 September 2009

    In the USA Highly migratory species fishery, compliance was more than 95% during the year 2010 (NOAA 2012). The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, which manages tunas in and around Hawaii, has implemented management measures adopted by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) {WPRFMC}. Hawaii based longliners are also require to use a NMFS owned VMS transmitter to detect any violations and prevent incursions into protected areas and there is an observer program in place {WPRFMC 2009}{PIROP 2012a}.

    3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

    BYCATCH
    ETP Species

    Last updated on 12 June 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Malaysia
    Hooks and lines

    Last updated on 6 June 2014

    Handline fisheries typically have very low bycatch associated with them.

    Viet Nam
    Longlines

    Last updated on 28 January 2019

    There is little information on bycatch in longline fisheries operating in Vietnam. There are no known interactions with marine mammals but five species of sea turtles have been reported as incidentally captured; green (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and leatherback (Dermochely coriacea) (Banks and Lewis 2011). A study based on interviews/questionnaires with fisherymen in 2007 indicated that the incidental catch of sea turtles was high and that at least 1,000 turtles were killed in fisheries (purse seine, trawl, longline, and gillnets) annually (Dong et al. n.d.). The author of this 2007 study indicated the incidental capture of turtles in longline fisheries is likely higher than in gillnet fisheries (Dong et al. n.d.). However, other studies have indicated the incidental capture of sea turtles in longline fishereis is lower than in gillnet fisheries and that turtles had a high post release survival rate (Ha and Hai 2011). Vietnam has adopted a National Plan of Action for sea turtles (Vietnam 2018).

    Trolling lines

    Last updated on 18 December 2018

    There are extremely low bycatch levels in pole-and-line fisheries. 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).

    Australia
    Longlines

    Last updated on 14 May 2014

    Australian Waters and the High Seas
    In Australian waters as part of the requirement for participation in this fishery ETBF vessels are required to record interactions with protected, threatened and endangered species and collect data on fate of by-catch and other non-target species (Turtles and Seabirds) caught in this fishery. If requested they must carry an onboard observer to monitor catch composition and report back on the mitigation measures under the Threat Abatement Plan (TAP)(AFMA, 2012a). Observer coverage has been considered to be too low and electronic monitoring systems are being implemented, covering the entire fishery (AFMA, 2011) but sampled to determine bycatch rates.

    Interactions reported in the ETBF include sharks (great white, grey nurse), seabirds, marine mammals (whales) and turtles. Longliners must use seabird bycatch mitigation measures including the use of tori lines if fishing south of 25ºS (AFMA, 2011). All ETBF vessels are required to carry line cutters and de-hookers to remove turtles or other PET species entangled with the fishing gear. A turtle interaction rate exceeding set limits triggers additional measures (AFMA, 2012c). Shark finning is banned in Australian waters (Patterson & Tudman, 2009) and the use of wire trace is banned to facilitate shark escapement (AFMA, 2011).

    Interactions with PET species are managed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, which protects all seabirds, turtles and cetaceans among others (EPBC Act). A 2012 Ecological Risk Assessment Framework identified nine priority species identified as at high risk due to effects of the fishery: four sharks (longfin mako, crocodile shark, pelagic thresher and dusky shark), two ocean sunfish, two marine mammals (short-finned pilot whale and false killer whale) and leatherback turtle. No seabirds are listed as high risk but measures are in place to minimize impacts on all protected species under plans such as the TAP. Sunfish are listed as precautionary high risk due to the lack of knowledge about their life cycle (AFMA, 2012c). Three mackerel sharks were listed under the EPBC Act in 2010 and only dead sharks are permitted to be retained (AFMA, 2012c).

    Among high-risk species, the 2011 fishery reported catch of 3 longfin mako shark, two short-finned pilot whales and an unidentified turtle. The whales and turtles were released alive (Woodhams et al., 2012), and this is reported to be the general scenario for these species (AFMA, 2011).

    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}.

    WCPFC
    WCPFC Seabird Conservation and Management Measures (CMM – binding decisions)
    From 2012, WCPFC requires longline vessels operating in areas south of 30ºS to employ two of three seabird avoidance methods: weighted branch lines, night setting and tori lines; and north of 23ºN to employ two methods selected from a list of eight alternatives. Exempts vessels < 24 m in areas north of 23ºN. Reporting of seabird interactions is also required (WCPFC, 2012b).

    WCPFC Sea Turtle CMM
    A 2008 measure requires shallow-setting, swordfish-targeting longline vessels to employ one or more of the following: (i) use only large circle hooks, defined as, “…generally circular or oval in shape and originally designed and manufactured so that the point is turned perpendicularly back to the shank”, that have an offset < 10 degrees; (ii) use only whole finfish for bait; and (iii) use any other measure approved by the Commission to be capable of reducing turtle interaction rates. Members are to establish their own definitions of what constitutes a ‘large’ hook, and what constitutes a ‘shallow-set, swordfish targeting’ fishery. Swordfish fisheries determined by the Scientific Committee to have minimal observed turtle interaction rates over a three-year period, and > 10% observer coverage during the three-year period, are exempt from the measure, where ‘minimal’ rates are to be determined by the Scientific Committee. All longline vessels are required to carry specified turtle handling and release equipment (WCPFC, 2008).

    WCPFC Shark CMM
    The current 2010 measure requires members to either: (i) have onboard fins totaling no more than 5% of the weight of sharks; (ii) land sharks with fins attached to the carcass; or (iii) land fins with the corresponding carcass. The measure requires the reporting of annual shark catches at the species-level for identified species of concern (WCPFC, 2010).

    China
    Longlines

    Last updated on 14 April 2015

    Chinese observers have recorded 1 interaction with a green sea turtle and 4 interactions with leatherback turtles between 2012 and 2013 {China 2013}. No interactions with sea birds or marine mammals were observed during 2012-2013 {China 2013}. China collects information on these bycatch events through the observer program, including size frequency data on sea turtles {China). In addition, because they are members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) they must comply with their measures. The WCPFC has adopted several management measures to protect vulnerable bycatch species. For example, WCPFC members are asked to implement the International Plan of Action for Reducing Incidental Catches of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries. Vessels fishing north of 23N in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) and eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) are required to use at least two mitigation measures including at least one of the following: side setting, night setting, tori line or weighted branch line. Members must submit annual reports detailing the mitigation measures used and are encouraged to undertake additional mitigation research {WCPFC 2012a}. Members of the WCPFC are also to implement the FAO Guidelines to Reduce Sea Turtle Mortality in Fishing Operations. Proper handling and release guidelines should be used when hard-shell turtles are incidentally captured and longline vessels must carry line cutters and de-hookers to allow for the safe handling and release of turtles. Longline fisheries are also urged to research mitigation techniques such as the use of circle hooks {WCPFC 2008b}. In addition, fisheries observers record and report interactions with seabirds and turtles {WCPFC 2012a}{WCPFC 2008b}.

    French Polynesia
    Longlines

    Last updated on 1 February 2019

    Several sea turtle species, including green, leatherback and loggerhead, have been reported as accidentally captured in the French Polynesian longline fishery. During 2016, one green sea turtle (dead) and one leatherback sea turtle (alive), were observed incidentally captured in this fishery. Observer coverage was around 3% of the fleet during 2016. In additional several species of sea birds, incluidng terns, albatross, petrels and puffins have been incidentally captured. During 2015, 3 unidentified birds and 7 petrels and puffins (6 dead) were observed incidentally captured.  The observed seabird capture rate in 2016 was 0.018 and has ranged from 0.002-0.018 between 2012 and 2016 (French Polynesia 2018). French Polynesia is a Participating Territory of the WCPFC and therfore adheres to ETP managment measures (French Polynesia 2018). The WCPFC requires the use of bycatch mitigation measures for sea birds and requires proper release techniques to be used for sea turtles (WCPFC 2008)(WCPFC 2018)(WCPFC 2018).

    Indonesia

    Several species of sea turtles have been reported as incidentally captured in Indonesian longline fisheries. These include olive ridley, leatherbacks, hawksbill, green and loggerhead sea turtles . Observer records have indicated a catch rate of 0.225 turtles per 1000 hooks {Zainudin et al. 2007}. A survey conducted by the WWF (2005) estimated that Indonesian tuna longline bycatch rate in the Pacific is estimated to be 256 to 768 animals per year for leatherback turtles and 768 to 2,304 animals per year for loggerhead turtles. Leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN {Martinez 2000}{Mortimer and Donnelly 2008}, loggerhead and green sea turtles are listed as Endangered and olive ridley as Vulnerable by the IUCN {MTSG 1996}{Seminorff 2004}{Abreu-Grobois and Plotkin 2008}. Interactions with sea birds are likely minimal in this fishery because due to low overlap {Filippi 2010}.

    Indonesia is a members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and must comply with their measures. The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) has adopted several management measures to protect vulnerable bycatch species. For example, WCPFC members are asked to implement the International Plan of Action for Reducing Incidental Catches of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries. Vessels fishing north of 23N in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) and eastern Pacific Ocean and purse seine fisheries are not allowed to encircle sea turtles (EPO) are required to use at least two mitigation measures including at least one of the following: side setting, night setting, tori line or weighted branch line. Members must submit annual reports detailing the mitigation measures used and are encouraged to undertake additional mitigation research {WCPFC 2012a}. Members of the WCPFC are also to implement the FAO Guidelines to Reduce Sea Turtle Mortality in Fishing Operations. Proper handling and release guidelines should be used when hard-shell turtles are incidentally captured and longline vessels must carry line cutters and de-hookers to allow for the safe handling and release of turtles. Longline fisheries are also urged to research mitigation techniques such as the use of circle hooks and purse seine fisheries are prohibited from encircling sea turtles {WCPFC 2008b}. In addition, fisheries observers record and report interactions with seabirds and turtles {WCPFC 2012a}{WCPFC 2008b}. It appears Indonesia complies with seabird regulations but it is unclear if sea turtle measures are followed {WCPFC 2013b}. Indonesia has recently created the Indonesia National Tuna Management Plan that indicates fishers must utilize proper handling and release measures for bycatch. This plan is planned for implementation during 2014 {MMAF 2012}.

    Purse seine fisheries do incidentally capture non-target species. Bycatch rates are much lower in unassociated compared to associated fisheries. Bycatch ratios in associated sets in the WCPO region are 1.7% and for unassociated 0.3% {Dagorn et al. 2012}. In associated fisheries, marine mammals are most often caught during sets made in the western section of the tropical western and central Pacific Ocean. Sets made on floating objects (logs, dFADs, FADs, whales and whale sharks) catch the most marine mammals. Based on the catch per unit effort of incidental catches, less than 3,500 marine mammals are caught per year in the entire purse seine fleet (all countries operating in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) and the mortality rate is estimated to be less than 10% {Molony 2005}. Purse seine fisheries are thought to have little impact on the sustainability of marine mammals in this region {Molony 2005}. Sea turtle interactions with the purse seine fishery in the WCPO are not common. Between 1980 and 2009 the incidence rate was about 0.36%, with most interactions occurring during associated sets (>70%) {Molony 2005} It is estimated that total turtle captures in the purse seine fishery are 200 per year, with fewer than 20 moralities {Molony 2005}.

    The WCPFC has some management measures in place specific to purse seine fisheries. For example, purse seine vessels in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean are prohibited from setting on a school of tuna with a whale shark, although members that fish north of 30N can implement this measure or a comparable measure. If a whale shark is incidentally encircled, the vessel must take reasonable steps to ensure its safe release and report the incident. However, these measures did not become mandatory until January 1, 2014 {WCPFC 2012e}. In addition, vessels are restricted from making a set on a school of tuna associated with a cetacean or encircle sea turtles and if this does occur they must take measures to ensure its safe release and to report the incident {WCPFC 2012f}{WCPFC 2008b}.

    Handlines hand operated

    Last updated on 1 July 2019

    Indonesia has been recognized as the highest tuna-producing country in the world, contributing 15 percent of global tuna production in 2009 ((FishStat 2006)). Approximately 20% of Indonesia’s tuna production comes from the Indian Ocean, and 80% from the Western Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) (FishStat 2006). Indonesian tuna fisheries are difficult to assess separately, and are often reported altogether because they cumulatively affect target stocks, specifically yellowfin tuna (YFT) and skipjack tuna, as well as other overexploited stocks such as bigeye tuna and baitfish (Moody Marine LTD 2010)

    This narrative presents information for Indonesia’s handline fisheries in the WCPO wherever possible; however, the majority of available information is for Indonesia’s tuna fisheries (purse seines not included here), specifically longline fisheries in the WCPO. Thus, unless handline fisheries are specifically referenced, information presented here represents summaries across different tuna fisheries.

    Indonesian handline fisheries are considered small-scale, one-day fisheries that catch 75% YFT and the rest skipjack, kawakawa, black marlin, and wahoo. Indonesian handline vessels fish using Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs). WCPFC Resolution CMM 2013-01 concerning conservation and management of tuna stocks in the WCPO required developing FAD management plans, which Indonesia released in 2014 (MMAF 2014). This management plan sets limits on the total number of FADs that can be deployed, specifications of catch reporting, and development of FAD designs to reduce non-target catch; however, the plan applies to purse seine vessels (MMAF 2014). No information was available in country reports about the number or location of FADs ((Hough 2018); (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018)

    Although assumed to be highly selective in terms of catch, there is a high degree of uncertainty about the overall scale and potential impacts of the Indonesian handline fisheries targeting yellowfin tuna (YFT) on ETP species and the ecosystem. In 2010, there were 11,686 active small (< 10GT) vessels and 56 larger (>10 GT) vessels in the Indonesian handline fishery targeting YFT in the WCPO, though this number is uncertain because of issues verifying vessel licensing, vessels that transfer among fisheries or sectors, challenges licensing smaller vessels (Moody Marine LTD 2010). However, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia reported only 9 handline vessels (only in 11-50 GT range) operating in Indonesia’s EEZ in fisheries management areas 716 and 717 in 2017 (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). In 2016, there were 15 handline vessels sized 11-50 GT and 2 sized 201-500 GT in FMAs 716 and 717. However, Indonesia reported only 4 handliners registered with WCPFC in 2015 and none in 2016 or 2017. There had apparently been a rapid and uncontrolled growth in small tuna handliners in Indonesia as vessels convert from other gears (e.g., driftnets); in contrast to the official estimates of permit holders and active vessels described above, perhaps 34,000 small handline vessels targeting tunas regularly or seasonally, which contributes to significant uncertainty about cumulative target catch and bycatch (Moody Marine LTD 2010)

    This fishery overlaps with several shark, seabird, marine mammal, and sea turtle populations, some of which are currently low abundance and declining, which means that numerically low bycatch interactions can still have significant population impacts (Lewison et al. 2014). Indonesian handline fishing operations in the WCPO occur in a highly diverse area in terms of marine turtle regional management units (RMUs; (Wallace et al. 2010)), potentially overlapping with 13 different RMUs of 6 different species, including West Pacific/SE Asia, West Central Pacific, Southwest Pacific, and Southeast Indian green turtles; West Pacific/SE Asia, West Central Pacific, Southwest Pacific, and Southeast Indian hawksbills; South Pacific and Southeast Indian loggerheads; West Pacific leatherbacks; West Pacific olive ridleys; and possibly Southeast Indian flatbacks. The Indonesian handline fishery in the WCPO overlaps with several proposed or confirmed Important Bird Areas designated by BirdLife International (BirdLife International 2019) The WCPO is home to more than 45% of the global total of albatross and giant petrel breeding distributions (Clarke et al. 2014). Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries released Ministerial Decree (PERMEN KP) No. 12/2012 which requires use of tori lines for every longline vessel operating beyond 25S.

    Previous reports suggest limited interactions with ETP species which are unlikely to hinder recovery ETP species; large handline vessels are most likely to have any interactions with ETP species ((Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd 2016)(Hough 2018). However, this assertion was based on anecdotal information and inference from other handline fisheries; direct observation and reporting of ETP bycatch for this fishery is unavailable (Hough 2018). As of 2016, milestones of assessing environmental risks and introducing mitigation measures for secondary species, ETP species, and habitat were not met, in part because information had not been collected comprehensively or correctly (Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd 2016).

    The WCPFC Conservation and Management Measure for the Regional Observer Programme mandated observer coverage of 5% of fisheries activities (WCPFC 2007). Given the current observer coverage and reporting scheme in Indonesian longline fisheries, and handlines in particularly, estimates of total ETP bycatch by species are not possible. Indonesia reported to WCPFC that only one observer spent 8 days at sea in 2016 and no observers covered any activity in the handline fisheries in 2017 (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). This fishery overlaps with several shark, seabird, marine mammal, and sea turtle populations, some of which are currently low abundance and declining, which means that numerically low bycatch interactions can still have significant population impacts (Lewison et al. 2014)

    Indonesia’s country report to WCPFC stated zero longline (all types) interactions with seabirds in 2017, but described development of a National Plan of Action for seabirds (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). No specific mention was made about sea turtle interactions with tuna longlines or handlines (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018)

    Considering all longline gear types, Indonesia reported that an estimated 1 metric tons (mt) oceanic whitetip shark, 1 mt silky shark, 2 mt hammerheads, 6 mt thresher sharks, and 2 mt mako sharks were caught in FMAs 716 and 717 in 2017 (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). An estimated 92 mt silky sharks, 5 mt hammerheads, 59 mt thresher sharks, and 174 mt mako sharks were caught in 2016, which was apparently the first time Indonesia had estimated total catch of sharks (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). Numbers of individual sharks by species were not provided in Indonesia’s country report to WCPFC, nor the proportion of shark catch taken by handline vessels.

    Some shark populations—i.e., blue sharks (Near Threatened), pelagic thresher sharks (Vulnerable), shortfin mako sharks (Vulnerable), oceanic whitetip sharks (Vulnerable), and silky sharks (Near Threatened) (IUCN Red List, accessed 25 September 2017) are likely experiencing overexploitation in fisheries in the West and Central Pacific region (ISC SHARKWG 2014, 2018). Recent stock assessments determined that status of these species range from data poor (i.e., status could not be determined; shortfin mako (International Scientific Committee 2018)) to not overfished (blue sharks (International Scientific Committee 2014)) to overfished (oceanic whitetip sharks and silky sharks (Rice and Harley 2012); (Rice and Harley 2013)). Despite conservation measures in place, Indonesia is one of the world’s top shark producers ((Lack et al. 2006); (Blaber et al., 2009)), and most shark products come from bycatch (72%) ((Zainudin 2011); cited in (Zainudin et al. 2017)). Shark bycatch from tuna fleets comprised approximately 11% of shark landings in Indonesia between 2011 and 2005 (Blaber et al., 2009). In addition, shark finning on Indonesian vessels is prohibited in some parts of the longline fishery (under AP2HI, for example) but finning is unlikely to be prevented on these vessels ((Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd 2016)). Many shark and ray species in Indonesia are overfished and effective management strategies likely need to include gear restrictions and catch limits, as well as controls on the fin trade (Blaber et al., 2009).

    Indonesia established a National Plan of Action (NPOA) for sharks and rays for 2015-2019. The Minister of Marine and Fisheries issued regulations (No. 34/PERMEN-KP/2015 and amendment No. 59/PERMEN-KP/2014) that prohibits export of oceanic whitetip sharks and hammerhead sharks and fins from Indonesian territory (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018)

    The WCPFC has adopted several management measures to protect ETP bycatch species, including multiple shark species ((WCPFC 2011)(WCPFC 2013)(WCPFC 2014)), seabirds (WCPFC 2015), marine turtles ((WCPFC 2008). For example, the WCPFC requires reporting of sea turtle bycatch, as well as landings of various shark species, and provides resources for safe handling and release of these taxa when taken as bycatch (WCPFC 2008) (WCPFC 2011)(WCPFC 2013)). In particular, WCPFC members are asked to implement the FAO Guidelines to Reduce Sea Turtle Mortality in Fishing Operations (WCPFC 2008). These guidelines specify mitigation measures to be taken in different geographic areas to reduce bycatch of different species. In addition, because turtle and shark bycatch are higher in FAD-associated sets, countries also report on FAD fishing operations and experiments testing bycatch reduction efficacy of FAD designs (Pilling et al. 2017)

    FAD-free

    Last updated on 24 January 2019

    Purse seine fisheries do incidentally capture non-target species. Bycatch rates are much lower in unassociated compared to associated fisheries. Bycatch ratios in associated sets in the WCPO region are 1.7% and for unassociated 0.3% {Dagorn et al. 2012}. In associated fisheries, marine mammals are most often caught during sets made in the western section of the tropical western and central Pacific Ocean. Sets made on floating objects (logs, dFADs, FADs, whales and whale sharks) catch the most marine mammals. Based on the catch per unit effort of incidental catches, less than 3,500 marine mammals are caught per year in the entire purse seine fleet (all countries operating in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) and the mortality rate is estimated to be less than 10% {Molony 2005}. Purse seine fisheries are thought to have little impact on the sustainability of marine mammals in this region {Molony 2005}. Sea turtle interactions with the purse seine fishery in the WCPO are not common. Between 1980 and 2009 the incidence rate was about 0.36%, with most interactions occurring during associated sets (>70%) {Molony 2005} It is estimated that total turtle captures in the purse seine fishery are 200 per year, with fewer than 20 moralities {Molony 2005}.

    The WCPFC has some management measures in place specific to purse seine fisheries. For example, purse seine vessels in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean are prohibited from setting on a school of tuna with a whale shark, although members that fish north of 30N can implement this measure or a comparable measure. If a whale shark is incidentally encircled, the vessel must take reasonable steps to ensure its safe release and report the incident. However, these measures did not become mandatory until January 1, 2014 {WCPFC 2012e}. In addition, vessels are restricted from making a set on a school of tuna associated with a cetacean or encircle sea turtles and if this does occur they must take measures to ensure its safe release and to report the incident {WCPFC 2012f}{WCPFC 2008b}.

    Longlines

    Last updated on 24 January 2019

    Indonesia has been recognized as the highest tuna-producing country in the world, contributing 15 percent of global tuna production in 2009 (FishStat 2006). Approximately 20% of Indonesia’s tuna production comes from the Indian Ocean, and 80% from the Western Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) (FishStat 2006). Indonesian tuna fisheries are difficult to assess separately, and are often reported altogether because they cumulatively affect target stocks, specifically yellowfin tuna (YFT) and skipjack tuna, as well as other overexploited stocks such as bigeye tuna and baitfish (Moody Marine LTD 2010).

    In 2010, there were 826 active vessels and permit holders in the Indonesian longline fleet of vessels > 30 GT, and another 270 < 30 GT that were classified as fishing in both the Western Pacific as well as Indian Ocean regions (Moody Marine LTD 2010). Indonesia’s 2018 country report to the WCPFC claimed only 1 longline fishing vessel (51-200 GT size class) operated in the EEZ Fisheries Management Areas (FMA) 716 and 717 in 2017, and one (<50 GT) in 2016 (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). Later in the same report, 153 longline vessels were apparently registered in WCPC in 2015, while zero vessels were registered in 2016 and 2017 (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). These totals were down from 127 total vessels (across size classes) in 2015, 137 in 2014, and 147 in 2013. However, the total tuna catch in longlines in those FMAs in 2016 was well above the long-term average while catch in 2017 was well below the long-term average (2000-2017) (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). Reasons for these discrepancies between reported numbers of vessels and total catch across time were not provided in the country report.

    Indonesia is a member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and must comply with their measures. The WCPFC has adopted several management measures to protect ETP bycatch species in longline fisheries, including multiple shark species ((WCPFC 2011)(WCPFC 2013)(WCPFC 2014), seabirds ((WCPFC 2015)), marine turtles (WCPFC 2008). In particular, WCPFC members are asked to implement the FAO Guidelines to Reduce Sea Turtle Mortality in Fishing Operations (WCPFC 2008). These guidelines specify mitigation measures to be taken in different geographic areas to reduce bycatch of different species. For example, WCPFC members are asked to implement the International Plan of Action for Reducing Incidental Catches of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries. Vessels fishing north of 23N in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO)  are not allowed to encircle sea turtles and are required to use at least two mitigation measures including at least one of the following: side setting, night setting, tori line or weighted branch line. Members must submit annual reports detailing the mitigation measures used and are encouraged to undertake additional mitigation research {WCPFC 2012a}. Members of the WCPFC are also to implement the FAO Guidelines to Reduce Sea Turtle Mortality in Fishing Operations. Proper handling and release guidelines should be used when hard-shell turtles are incidentally captured and longline vessels must carry line cutters and de-hookers to allow for the safe handling and release of turtles. Longline fisheries are also urged to research mitigation techniques such as the use of circle hooks and purse seine fisheries are prohibited from encircling sea turtles {WCPFC 2008b}. In addition, fisheries observers record and report interactions with seabirds and turtles {WCPFC 2012a}{WCPFC 2008b}.Indonesia has created the Indonesia National Tuna Management Plan that indicates fishers must utilize proper handling and release measures for bycatch. This plan is planned for implementation during 2014 {MMAF 2012}. Indonesia has recently developed a National Plan of Action for seabirds (MMAF 2018).

    The WCPFC Conservation and Management Measure for the Regional Observer Programme mandated observer coverage of 5% of fisheries activities (WCPFC 2007). Indonesia reported to WCPFC that 10 observers spent a total of 168 days at sea across FMAs 714, 715, and 717 in 2017, and no observers covered any activity in the longline fisheries in 2016 (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). The proportion of total longline fishing effort in the WCPO corresponding to this amount of on-board observation was not provided. Given the current observer coverage and reporting scheme in Indonesian longline tuna fisheries, estimates of total ETP bycatch by species are not possible.

    This fishery overlaps with several shark, seabird, marine mammal, and sea turtle populations, some of which are currently low abundance and declining, which means that numerically low bycatch interactions can still have significant population impacts (Lewison et al. 2014). Addition types of information, such as post-release mortality of ETP species ((García-Párraga et al. 2014); (Musyl et al. 2015); (Musyl and Gilman 2019)), will also be necessary to robustly estimate the impacts of bycatch in Indonesian longline tuna fisheries.

    Indonesian longline fishing operations in the WCPO occur in a highly diverse area in terms of marine turtle regional management units (RMUs; Wallace et al. 2010), potentially overlapping with 13 different RMUs of 6 different species, including West Pacific/SE Asia, West Central Pacific, Southwest Pacific, and Southeast Indian green turtles; West Pacific/SE Asia, West Central Pacific, Southwest Pacific, and Southeast Indian hawksbills; South Pacific and Southeast Indian loggerheads; West Pacific leatherbacks; West Pacific olive ridleys; and possibly Southeast Indian flatbacks. Several species of sea turtles have been reported as incidentally captured in Indonesian longline fisheries. These include olive ridley, leatherbacks, hawksbill, green and loggerhead sea turtles . Observer records have indicated a catch rate of 0.225 turtles per 1000 hooks {Zainudin et al. 2007}. A survey conducted by the WWF (2005) estimated that Indonesian tuna longline bycatch rate in the Pacific is estimated to be 256 to 768 animals per year for leatherback turtles and 768 to 2,304 animals per year for loggerhead turtles. Leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN {Martinez 2000}{Mortimer and Donnelly 2008}, loggerhead and green sea turtles are listed as Endangered and olive ridley as Vulnerable by the IUCN {MTSG 1996}{Seminorff 2004}{Abreu-Grobois and Plotkin 2008}.

    Other sources of ETP bycatch information exist, but summarize bycatch for Indonesia generally. For example, bycatch assessments (observers as well as port-based interviews) conducted by WWF during 2005-2007 reported 132 sea turtles taken as bycatch (only 7 dead) in longlines and trawls, including green turtles, leatherbacks, loggerheads, and olive ridleys, though species-specific totals were not provided, nor were locations of bycaught turtles (Moody Marine LTD 2010)

    The Indonesian longline fishery in the WCPO overlaps with several proposed or confirmed Important Bird Areas designated by BirdLife International (BirdLife International 2019). The WCPO is home to more than 45% of the global total of albatross and giant petrel breeding distributions ((Clarke et al. 2014)). Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries released Ministerial Decree (PERMEN KP) No. 12/2012 which requires use of tori lines for every longline vessel operating beyond 25S. However, interactions with sea birds are likely minimal in this fishery because due to low overlap {Filippi 2010}. Indonesia’s country report to WCPFC stated zero longline (all types) interactions with seabirds in 2017, but described development of a National Plan of Action for seabirds (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). Zero sea turtle interactions were reported in Indonesia’s purse seine fishing operations, but no specific mention was made about tuna longlines or handlines (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018)

    As part of a WWF-supported on-board observer program, Zainudin et al. ((Zainudin et al. 2017)) reported 26 seabirds, 17 dolphins, and 8 whales were caught between 2006-2014 across 71 tuna longline vessels operating out of Benoa Port in Bali (n=41 vessels) and Bitung Port in North Sulawesi (n=30 vessels). However, no seabird interactions, 2 whale interactions, and only 1 dolphin interaction were observed with longlines in the WCPO. Three-quarters of seabird interactions were fatal, whereas between a quarter and one-third of shark, dolphin, and whale interactions were fatal. This study also reported that longlines out of Bali (Indian Ocean) and out of North Sulawesi (WCPO region) caught a combined 2,095 sharks, nearly 96% of which were juveniles. Night fishing was correlated with low occurrence of seabird and shark bycatch, but higher cetacean bycatch. Overall, bycatch rates for seabirds, marine mammals, and sharks in Indonesian longlines reported in this study were lower than those reported in USA fisheries (Atlantic and Pacific). 

    Considering all longline gear types, Indonesia reported that an estimated 1 metric tons (mt) oceanic whitetip shark, 1 mt silky shark, 2 mt hammerheads, 6 mt thresher sharks, and 2 mt mako sharks were caught in FMAs 716 and 717 in 2017 (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). An estimated 92 mt silky sharks, 5 mt hammerheads, 59 mt thresher sharks, and 174 mt mako sharks were caught in 2016, which was apparently the first time Indonesia had estimated total catch of sharks (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). Numbers of individual sharks by species were not provided in Indonesia’s country report to WCPFC, nor the proportion of shark catch taken by handline vessels.

    Some shark populations—i.e., blue sharks (Near Threatened), pelagic thresher sharks (Vulnerable), shortfin mako sharks (Vulnerable), oceanic whitetip sharks (Vulnerable), and silky sharks (Near Threatened) (IUCN Red List, accessed 25 September 2017) are likely experiencing overexploitation in fisheries in the West and Central Pacific region (ISC SHARKWG 2014, 2018). Recent stock assessments determined that status of these species range from data poor (i.e., status could not be determined; shortfin mako (International Scientific Committee 2018)) to not overfished (blue sharks (International Scientific Committee 2014)) to overfished (oceanic whitetip sharks and silky sharks ((Rice and Harley 2012);(Rice and Harley 2013)). Despite conservation measures in place, Indonesia is one of the world’s top shark producers ((Lack et al. 2006); (Blaber et al., 2009)), and most shark products come from bycatch (72%) ((Zainudin, IM 2011); cited in (Zainudin et al. 2017)). Shark bycatch from tuna fleets comprised approximately 11% of shark landings in Indonesia between 2011 and 2005 (Blaber et al., 2009). In addition, shark finning on Indonesian vessels is prohibited in some parts of the longline fishery (under AP2HI, for example) but finning is unlikely to be prevented on these vessels ((Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd 2016)). Many shark and ray species in Indonesia are overfished and effective management strategies likely need to include gear restrictions and catch limits, as well as controls on the fin trade (Blaber et al., 2009).

    Indonesia established a National Plan of Action (NPOA) for sharks and rays for 2015-2019. The Minister of Marine and Fisheries issued regulations (No. 34/PERMEN-KP/2015 and amendment No. 59/PERMEN-KP/2014) that prohibits export of oceanic whitetip sharks and hammerhead sharks and fins from Indonesian territory (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018).

    Hooks and lines

    Last updated on 10 March 2017

    Interactions with PET species are low in hook and line fisheries (MMAF 2017)​.

    Purse seines

    Last updated on 24 January 2019

    Purse seine fisheries do incidentally capture non-target species. Bycatch rates are much lower in unassociated compared to associated fisheries. Bycatch ratios in associated sets in the WCPO region are 1.7% and for unassociated 0.3% {Dagorn et al. 2012}. In associated fisheries, marine mammals are most often caught during sets made in the western section of the tropical western and central Pacific Ocean. Sets made on floating objects (logs, dFADs, FADs, whales and whale sharks) catch the most marine mammals. Based on the catch per unit effort of incidental catches, less than 3,500 marine mammals are caught per year in the entire purse seine fleet (all countries operating in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) and the mortality rate is estimated to be less than 10% {Molony 2005}. Purse seine fisheries are thought to have little impact on the sustainability of marine mammals in this region {Molony 2005}. Sea turtle interactions with the purse seine fishery in the WCPO are not common. Between 1980 and 2009 the incidence rate was about 0.36%, with most interactions occurring during associated sets (>70%) {Molony 2005} It is estimated that total turtle captures in the purse seine fishery are 200 per year, with fewer than 20 moralities {Molony 2005}.

    The WCPFC has some management measures in place specific to purse seine fisheries. For example, purse seine vessels in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean are prohibited from setting on a school of tuna with a whale shark, although members that fish north of 30N can implement this measure or a comparable measure. If a whale shark is incidentally encircled, the vessel must take reasonable steps to ensure its safe release and report the incident. However, these measures did not become mandatory until January 1, 2014 {WCPFC 2012e}. In addition, vessels are restricted from making a set on a school of tuna associated with a cetacean or encircle sea turtles and if this does occur they must take measures to ensure its safe release and to report the incident {WCPFC 2012f}{WCPFC 2008b}.

    Pole-lines hand operated

    Last updated on 30 January 2015

    Interactions with PET species are low in Pole and line fisheries (MMAF 2017).

    Drifting longlines

    Last updated on 2 July 2019

    Indonesia has been recognized as the highest tuna-producing country in the world, contributing 15 percent of global tuna production in 2009 (FishStat 2006). Approximately 20% of Indonesia’s tuna production comes from the Indian Ocean, and 80% from the Western Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) (FishStat 2006). Indonesian tuna fisheries are difficult to assess separately, and are often reported altogether because they cumulatively affect target stocks, specifically yellowfin tuna (YFT) and skipjack tuna, as well as other overexploited stocks such as bigeye tuna and baitfish (Moody Marine LTD 2010).

    In 2010, there were 826 active vessels and permit holders in the Indonesian longline fleet of vessels > 30 GT, and another 270 < 30 GT that were classified as fishing in both the Western Pacific as well as Indian Ocean regions (Moody Marine LTD 2010). Indonesia’s 2018 country report to the WCPFC claimed only 1 longline fishing vessel (51-200 GT size class) operated in the EEZ Fisheries Management Areas (FMA) 716 and 717 in 2017, and one (<50 GT) in 2016 (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). Later in the same report, 153 longline vessels were apparently registered in WCPC in 2015, while zero vessels were registered in 2016 and 2017 (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). These totals were down from 127 total vessels (across size classes) in 2015, 137 in 2014, and 147 in 2013. However, the total tuna catch in longlines in those FMAs in 2016 was well above the long-term average while catch in 2017 was well below the long-term average (2000-2017) (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). Reasons for these discrepancies between reported numbers of vessels and total catch across time were not provided in the country report.

    Indonesia is a member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and must comply with their measures. The WCPFC has adopted several management measures to protect ETP bycatch species in longline fisheries, including multiple shark species ((WCPFC 2011)(WCPFC 2013)(WCPFC 2014), seabirds ((WCPFC 2015)), marine turtles (WCPFC 2008). In particular, WCPFC members are asked to implement the FAO Guidelines to Reduce Sea Turtle Mortality in Fishing Operations (WCPFC 2008). These guidelines specify mitigation measures to be taken in different geographic areas to reduce bycatch of different species. For example, WCPFC members are asked to implement the International Plan of Action for Reducing Incidental Catches of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries. Vessels fishing north of 23N in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO)  are not allowed to encircle sea turtles and are required to use at least two mitigation measures including at least one of the following: side setting, night setting, tori line or weighted branch line. Members must submit annual reports detailing the mitigation measures used and are encouraged to undertake additional mitigation research {WCPFC 2012a}. Members of the WCPFC are also to implement the FAO Guidelines to Reduce Sea Turtle Mortality in Fishing Operations. Proper handling and release guidelines should be used when hard-shell turtles are incidentally captured and longline vessels must carry line cutters and de-hookers to allow for the safe handling and release of turtles. Longline fisheries are also urged to research mitigation techniques such as the use of circle hooks and purse seine fisheries are prohibited from encircling sea turtles {WCPFC 2008b}. In addition, fisheries observers record and report interactions with seabirds and turtles {WCPFC 2012a}{WCPFC 2008b}.Indonesia has created the Indonesia National Tuna Management Plan that indicates fishers must utilize proper handling and release measures for bycatch. This plan is planned for implementation during 2014 {MMAF 2012}. Indonesia has recently developed a National Plan of Action for seabirds (MMAF 2018).

    The WCPFC Conservation and Management Measure for the Regional Observer Programme mandated observer coverage of 5% of fisheries activities (WCPFC 2007). Indonesia reported to WCPFC that 10 observers spent a total of 168 days at sea across FMAs 714, 715, and 717 in 2017, and no observers covered any activity in the longline fisheries in 2016 (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). The proportion of total longline fishing effort in the WCPO corresponding to this amount of on-board observation was not provided. Given the current observer coverage and reporting scheme in Indonesian longline tuna fisheries, estimates of total ETP bycatch by species are not possible.

    This fishery overlaps with several shark, seabird, marine mammal, and sea turtle populations, some of which are currently low abundance and declining, which means that numerically low bycatch interactions can still have significant population impacts (Lewison et al. 2014). Addition types of information, such as post-release mortality of ETP species ((García-Párraga et al. 2014); (Musyl et al. 2015); (Musyl and Gilman 2019)), will also be necessary to robustly estimate the impacts of bycatch in Indonesian longline tuna fisheries.

    Indonesian longline fishing operations in the WCPO occur in a highly diverse area in terms of marine turtle regional management units (RMUs; Wallace et al. 2010), potentially overlapping with 13 different RMUs of 6 different species, including West Pacific/SE Asia, West Central Pacific, Southwest Pacific, and Southeast Indian green turtles; West Pacific/SE Asia, West Central Pacific, Southwest Pacific, and Southeast Indian hawksbills; South Pacific and Southeast Indian loggerheads; West Pacific leatherbacks; West Pacific olive ridleys; and possibly Southeast Indian flatbacks. Several species of sea turtles have been reported as incidentally captured in Indonesian longline fisheries. These include olive ridley, leatherbacks, hawksbill, green and loggerhead sea turtles . Observer records have indicated a catch rate of 0.225 turtles per 1000 hooks {Zainudin et al. 2007}. A survey conducted by the WWF (2005) estimated that Indonesian tuna longline bycatch rate in the Pacific is estimated to be 256 to 768 animals per year for leatherback turtles and 768 to 2,304 animals per year for loggerhead turtles. Leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN {Martinez 2000}{Mortimer and Donnelly 2008}, loggerhead and green sea turtles are listed as Endangered and olive ridley as Vulnerable by the IUCN {MTSG 1996}{Seminorff 2004}{Abreu-Grobois and Plotkin 2008}.

    Other sources of ETP bycatch information exist, but summarize bycatch for Indonesia generally. For example, bycatch assessments (observers as well as port-based interviews) conducted by WWF during 2005-2007 reported 132 sea turtles taken as bycatch (only 7 dead) in longlines and trawls, including green turtles, leatherbacks, loggerheads, and olive ridleys, though species-specific totals were not provided, nor were locations of bycaught turtles (Moody Marine LTD 2010)

    The Indonesian longline fishery in the WCPO overlaps with several proposed or confirmed Important Bird Areas designated by BirdLife International (BirdLife International 2019). The WCPO is home to more than 45% of the global total of albatross and giant petrel breeding distributions ((Clarke et al. 2014)). Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries released Ministerial Decree (PERMEN KP) No. 12/2012 which requires use of tori lines for every longline vessel operating beyond 25S. However, interactions with sea birds are likely minimal in this fishery because due to low overlap {Filippi 2010}. Indonesia’s country report to WCPFC stated zero longline (all types) interactions with seabirds in 2017, but described development of a National Plan of Action for seabirds (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). Zero sea turtle interactions were reported in Indonesia’s purse seine fishing operations, but no specific mention was made about tuna longlines or handlines (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018)

    As part of a WWF-supported on-board observer program, Zainudin et al. ((Zainudin et al. 2017)) reported 26 seabirds, 17 dolphins, and 8 whales were caught between 2006-2014 across 71 tuna longline vessels operating out of Benoa Port in Bali (n=41 vessels) and Bitung Port in North Sulawesi (n=30 vessels). However, no seabird interactions, 2 whale interactions, and only 1 dolphin interaction were observed with longlines in the WCPO. Three-quarters of seabird interactions were fatal, whereas between a quarter and one-third of shark, dolphin, and whale interactions were fatal. This study also reported that longlines out of Bali (Indian Ocean) and out of North Sulawesi (WCPO region) caught a combined 2,095 sharks, nearly 96% of which were juveniles. Night fishing was correlated with low occurrence of seabird and shark bycatch, but higher cetacean bycatch. Overall, bycatch rates for seabirds, marine mammals, and sharks in Indonesian longlines reported in this study were lower than those reported in USA fisheries (Atlantic and Pacific). 

    Considering all longline gear types, Indonesia reported that an estimated 1 metric tons (mt) oceanic whitetip shark, 1 mt silky shark, 2 mt hammerheads, 6 mt thresher sharks, and 2 mt mako sharks were caught in FMAs 716 and 717 in 2017 (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). An estimated 92 mt silky sharks, 5 mt hammerheads, 59 mt thresher sharks, and 174 mt mako sharks were caught in 2016, which was apparently the first time Indonesia had estimated total catch of sharks (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018). Numbers of individual sharks by species were not provided in Indonesia’s country report to WCPFC, nor the proportion of shark catch taken by handline vessels.

    Some shark populations—i.e., blue sharks (Near Threatened), pelagic thresher sharks (Vulnerable), shortfin mako sharks (Vulnerable), oceanic whitetip sharks (Vulnerable), and silky sharks (Near Threatened) (IUCN Red List, accessed 25 September 2017) are likely experiencing overexploitation in fisheries in the West and Central Pacific region (ISC SHARKWG 2014, 2018). Recent stock assessments determined that status of these species range from data poor (i.e., status could not be determined; shortfin mako (International Scientific Committee 2018)) to not overfished (blue sharks (International Scientific Committee 2014)) to overfished (oceanic whitetip sharks and silky sharks ((Rice and Harley 2012);(Rice and Harley 2013)). Despite conservation measures in place, Indonesia is one of the world’s top shark producers ((Lack et al. 2006); (Blaber et al., 2009)), and most shark products come from bycatch (72%) ((Zainudin, IM 2011); cited in (Zainudin et al. 2017)). Shark bycatch from tuna fleets comprised approximately 11% of shark landings in Indonesia between 2011 and 2005 (Blaber et al., 2009). In addition, shark finning on Indonesian vessels is prohibited in some parts of the longline fishery (under AP2HI, for example) but finning is unlikely to be prevented on these vessels ((Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd 2016)). Many shark and ray species in Indonesia are overfished and effective management strategies likely need to include gear restrictions and catch limits, as well as controls on the fin trade (Blaber et al., 2009).

    Indonesia established a National Plan of Action (NPOA) for sharks and rays for 2015-2019. The Minister of Marine and Fisheries issued regulations (No. 34/PERMEN-KP/2015 and amendment No. 59/PERMEN-KP/2014) that prohibits export of oceanic whitetip sharks and hammerhead sharks and fins from Indonesian territory (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia 2018).

    Mechanized lines

    Last updated on 18 December 2018

    There are extremely low bycatch levels in pole-and-line fisheries. 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).

    Japan

    Japan has conducted research into sea bird bycatch mitigation measures and experimented with using circle hooks to reduce sea turtle interactions. During 2012, observers recorded 3 interactions with sea birds in the offshore fishery and 23 in the distant water fishery. A total of 14 and 6 sea turtles were also observed in these fisheries. Ten mammals (not identified to species) were observed in the offshore fishery during 2012 {Uosaki et al. 2013}.

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

    Korea, Republic of
    Longlines

    Last updated on 4 August 2011

    Information on interactions with sea turtles and sea birds in the Korean fishery is limited. Korea has conducted tests in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) to determine the effectiveness of circle hooks in reducing sea turtle interactions but not in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO). Information on bycatch management strategies implemented by Korea is limited but Korea must abide by international measures. WCPFC members are asked to implement the International Plan of Action for Reducing Incidental Catches of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries. Vessels fishing north of 23N in the WCPO and EPO are required to use at least two mitigation measures including at least one of the following: side setting, night setting, tori line or weighted branch line. Members must submit annual reports detailing the mitigation measures used and are encouraged to undertake additional mitigation research {WCPFC 2012a}. Members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) are also to implement the FAO Guidelines to Reduce Sea Turtle Mortality in Fishing Operations. Proper handling and release guidelines should be used when hard-shell turtles are incidentally captured and longline vessels must carry line cutters and de-hookers to allow for the safe handling and release of turtles. Longline fisheries are also urged to research mitigation techniques such as the use of circle hooks {WCPFC 2008b}. In addition, fisheries observers record and report interactions with seabirds and turtles {WCPFC 2012a}{WCPFC 2008b}. Korea is complying with WCPFC seabird management measures {WCPFC 2013c}. Information on compliance with other measures is not available {WCPFC 2013c}.

    Marshall Islands
    Drifting longlines

    Last updated on 2 July 2019

    The Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) longline tuna fishery overlaps with several ETP species, and bycatch of many of these species has been documented ((Collinson, et al. 2013); (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2018)). Several existing conservation measures are intended to address bycatch monitoring, reporting, and to reduce negative effects of bycatch on ETP species including sharks (WCPFC 2014), seabirds ((WCPFC 2015), and sea turtles (WCPFC 2008). The Marshall Islands Fisheries Act of 2011 prohibits the fishing, possession and trade of all shark species and their products, and the Marine Resources Act (1997) prohibits killing sea turtles except in circumstances of subsistence harvest; however, there are no regulations specifically addressing accidental interactions between RMI longline vessels and ETP species. Observer coverage is insufficient to develop robust assessments of bycatch effects on ETP species or to detect bycatch reduction based on implementation of bycatch management. 

    In 2017, 31 foreign chartered longline vessels (all 51-200 GRT size class) associated with the domestically-based Marshall Islands Fishing Venture targeted bigeye and yellowfin tunas, catching approximately 14% of the total tuna catch for Marshall Islands (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2018). These chartered vessels are based locally and fish almost exclusively in the RMI EEZ.

    The RMI longline fishery targeting bigeye and yellowfin tunas identifies main primary species as yellowfin or bigeye tuna and main retained species include billfishes (blue, black, and striped marlin), albacore tuna, swordfish, and wahoo (Collinson, et al. 2013).In addition, this fishery uses predominantly Pacific saury as bait, as well as mackerel and sardine (Collinson, et al. 2013). Based on information available from RMI purse seine vessels, and the scant information available for this longline fishery, the main ETP species appear to include multiple elasmobranch species (e.g., blue shark, silky shark, oceanic whitetip shark, bigeye thresher shark, and pelagic thresher shark), as well as sea turtles ((Collinson, et al. 2013) (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2018)). However, there are minimal bycatch data available for this fishery (Collinson, et al. 2013), though on-board observers have been deployed on RMI longline vessels since 2016 ((Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2017); (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2018)).

    In 2017, RMI Observer Program’s 58 active observers monitored 39 longline trips (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2018). Observers documented 1 sea turtle, 41 marine mammals, and no seabird interactions with RMI longlines in 2017. In addition, 4 oceanic whitetip sharks, 35 blue sharks, 67 thresher sharks, 11 mako sharks, and 20 silky sharks were discarded in 2017 (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2018). In 2016, observers monitored 28 longline trips, and reported 3 turtles, 37 marine mammals, and no seabird interactions. In addition, 27 oceanic whitetip sharks, 744 blue sharks, 3 thresher sharks, 3 mako sharks, 1 hammerhead shark, and 220 silky sharks were discarded in 2016 (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2017)

    Proportional observer coverage relative to all longline effort was not provided in the 2018 and 2017 national reports to the WCPFC (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2017), (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2018)). However, RMI observers apparently achieved > 5% observer coverage in 2016 and 2017 (Norpac Fisheries Export and Luen Thai Fishing Ventures, Inc. 2018). In 2017, 44 longline trips were electronically observed in an e-Monitoring trial (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2018). However, results are not yet available to evaluate whether electronic monitoring systems are a viable substitute for onboard observers (RMI Pelagic Longline FIP Scoping Report and Workplan 2017-2021 2017).

    The RMI EEZ is a shark sanctuary, but vessels are still required to record shark interactions (Collinson, et al. 2013). Though there is a ban on shark retention and using wire leader and shark lines (WCPFC 2014), the longline fleet in 2016 and 2017 reported incidental capture of IUCN near threated blue shark and silky shark. Some shark populations—i.e., blue sharks (Near Threatened), pelagic thresher sharks (Vulnerable), shortfin mako sharks (Vulnerable), oceanic whitetip sharks (Vulnerable), and silky sharks (Near Threatened) (IUCN Red List, accessed 25 September 2017) are likely experiencing overexploitation in fisheries in the West and Central Pacific region (International Scientific Committee 2014),(International Scientific Committee 2018)). Recent stock assessments determined that status of these species range from data poor (i.e., status could not be determined; shortfin mako (International Scientific Committee 2018)) to not overfished (blue sharks (International Scientific Committee 2014)) to overfished (oceanic whitetip sharks and silky sharks (Rice and Harley 2012); (Rice and Harley 2013)). Further information on fishing mortality rates, specifically improved estimates of health condition and post-release mortality, is required to refine and improve shark assessments and assessments of impacts to other ETP species ((Musyl et al. 2014)); (Musyl et al. 2015);(Rice and Semba 2014); (Clarke et al. 2014)).

    The fishery overlaps with Regional Management Units for hawksbill, West Pacific leatherbacks, and South Pacific loggerheads (IUCN Red List Critically Endangered), green (Endangered, globally), olive Ridley (Vulnerable, globally) sea turtles. All sea turtle species are CITES-listed, but RMI is not a CITES signatory. The RMI Marine Resources Act (1997) prohibits the intentional killing of green and hawksbill sea turtles, except in circumstances of subsistence fishing, but does not address accidental capture of sea turtles in longline operations in RMI (Collinson, et al. 2013).

    Purse seines

    Last updated on 20 December 2010

    Observer data from the purse seine fishery indicates that between 2010 and 20121 loggerhead, 2 hawksbill and 1 olive ridley sea turtles were incidentally captured. In addition, 8 interactions with dolphins and 2 with toothed whales were reported during 20120. Previously in 2010, these numbers were 19 and 18 respectively {OIAD 2013}.

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

    Longlines

    Last updated on 2 July 2019

    The Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) longline tuna fishery overlaps with several ETP species, and bycatch of many of these species has been documented ((Collinson, et al. 2013); (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2018)). Several existing conservation measures are intended to address bycatch monitoring, reporting, and to reduce negative effects of bycatch on ETP species including sharks (WCPFC 2014), seabirds ((WCPFC 2015), and sea turtles (WCPFC 2008). The Marshall Islands Fisheries Act of 2011 prohibits the fishing, possession and trade of all shark species and their products, and the Marine Resources Act (1997) prohibits killing sea turtles except in circumstances of subsistence harvest; however, there are no regulations specifically addressing accidental interactions between RMI longline vessels and ETP species. Observer coverage is insufficient to develop robust assessments of bycatch effects on ETP species or to detect bycatch reduction based on implementation of bycatch management. 

    In 2017, 31 foreign chartered longline vessels (all 51-200 GRT size class) associated with the domestically-based Marshall Islands Fishing Venture targeted bigeye and yellowfin tunas, catching approximately 14% of the total tuna catch for Marshall Islands (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2018). These chartered vessels are based locally and fish almost exclusively in the RMI EEZ.

    The RMI longline fishery targeting bigeye and yellowfin tunas identifies main primary species as yellowfin or bigeye tuna and main retained species include billfishes (blue, black, and striped marlin), albacore tuna, swordfish, and wahoo (Collinson, et al. 2013).In addition, this fishery uses predominantly Pacific saury as bait, as well as mackerel and sardine (Collinson, et al. 2013). Based on information available from RMI purse seine vessels, and the scant information available for this longline fishery, the main ETP species appear to include multiple elasmobranch species (e.g., blue shark, silky shark, oceanic whitetip shark, bigeye thresher shark, and pelagic thresher shark), as well as sea turtles ((Collinson, et al. 2013) (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2018)). However, there are minimal bycatch data available for this fishery (Collinson, et al. 2013), though on-board observers have been deployed on RMI longline vessels since 2016 ((Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2017); (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2018)).

    In 2017, RMI Observer Program’s 58 active observers monitored 39 longline trips (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2018). Observers documented 1 sea turtle, 41 marine mammals, and no seabird interactions with RMI longlines in 2017. In addition, 4 oceanic whitetip sharks, 35 blue sharks, 67 thresher sharks, 11 mako sharks, and 20 silky sharks were discarded in 2017 (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2018). In 2016, observers monitored 28 longline trips, and reported 3 turtles, 37 marine mammals, and no seabird interactions. In addition, 27 oceanic whitetip sharks, 744 blue sharks, 3 thresher sharks, 3 mako sharks, 1 hammerhead shark, and 220 silky sharks were discarded in 2016 (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2017)

    Proportional observer coverage relative to all longline effort was not provided in the 2018 and 2017 national reports to the WCPFC (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2017), (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2018)). However, RMI observers apparently achieved > 5% observer coverage in 2016 and 2017 (Norpac Fisheries Export and Luen Thai Fishing Ventures, Inc. 2018). In 2017, 44 longline trips were electronically observed in an e-Monitoring trial (Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority 2018). However, results are not yet available to evaluate whether electronic monitoring systems are a viable substitute for onboard observers (RMI Pelagic Longline FIP Scoping Report and Workplan 2017-2021 2017).

    The RMI EEZ is a shark sanctuary, but vessels are still required to record shark interactions (Collinson et al. 2013). Though there is a ban on shark retention and using wire leader and shark lines (WCPFC 2014), the longline fleet in 2016 and 2017 reported incidental capture of IUCN near threated blue shark and silky shark. Some shark populations—i.e., blue sharks (Near Threatened), pelagic thresher sharks (Vulnerable), shortfin mako sharks (Vulnerable), oceanic whitetip sharks (Vulnerable), and silky sharks (Near Threatened) (IUCN Red List, accessed 25 September 2017) are likely experiencing overexploitation in fisheries in the West and Central Pacific region (International Scientific Committee 2014),(International Scientific Committee 2018)). Recent stock assessments determined that status of these species range from data poor (i.e., status could not be determined; shortfin mako (International Scientific Committee 2018)) to not overfished (blue sharks (International Scientific Committee 2014)) to overfished (oceanic whitetip sharks and silky sharks (Rice and Harley 2012); (Rice and Harley 2013)). Further information on fishing mortality rates, specifically improved estimates of health condition and post-release mortality, is required to refine and improve shark assessments and assessments of impacts to other ETP species ((Musyl et al. 2014); (Musyl et al. 2015);(Rice and Semba 2014); (Clarke et al. 2014)).

    The fishery overlaps with Regional Management Units for hawksbill, West Pacific leatherbacks, and South Pacific loggerheads (IUCN Red List Critically Endangered), green (Endangered, globally), olive Ridley (Vulnerable, globally) sea turtles. All sea turtle species are CITES-listed, but RMI is not a CITES signatory. The RMI Marine Resources Act (1997) prohibits the intentional killing of green and hawksbill sea turtles, except in circumstances of subsistence fishing, but does not address accidental capture of sea turtles in longline operations in RMI (Collinson, et al. 2013).

    Micronesia, Federated States of
    Longlines

    Last updated on 12 June 2019

    The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) longline tuna fishery overlaps with several ETP species, and bycatch with many of these species has been documented (FSM 2018). However, information on the incidental capture of ETP species by the FSM longline fleet has not been reported in annual reports provided to the WCPFC. There is an observer program in place (5% coverage since 2012) but information is not readily available. There are 11 species of marine mammals and 34 species of sea birds, including the black-footed albatross currently listed as Endangered by the IUCN, and Laysan albatross, Stejneger’s and white-necked petrels, which are currently listed as Vulnerable that can be found in FSM waters. In addition four species of sea turtles, olive ridley (Endangered), leatherback (Critically Endangered), green turtle (Endangered) and hawksbill (Critically Endangered) found in FSM waters {Anonymous 2009}.

    FSM is a member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and must comply with their measures. Several existing conservation measures are intended to address bycatch monitoring, reporting, and to reduce negative effects of bycatch on ETP species including sharks(WCPFC 2014), seabirds (WCPFC 2015), and sea turtles (WCPFC 2008). Although ETP species (particularly sharks and sea turtles) are regularly taken as bycatch, numbers of individuals and mortality are relatively low. However, observer coverage is insufficient to develop robust assessments of bycatch effects on ETP species or to detect bycatch reduction based on implementation of bycatch management. 

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

    In 2013, 77 longline vessels were flagged in FSM (Collinson and Gascoigne 2015). In 2017, 53 longline vessels were licensed to operate in the FSM EEZ, but only 30 (12 FSM flag and 18 chartered vessels) fished, targeting bigeye and yellowfin tunas. In 2017, 30 vessels landed 3,559 mt, whereas 19 purse seine vessels an estimated 81,074 mt (Federated States of Micronesia 2018)

    The FSM longline fishery targeting bigeye and yellowfin tunas identifies main primary species as yellowfin or bigeye tuna (depending on which is the official target under the specific FIP), and minor primary species as albacore and skipjack tuna. The main secondary species affected by this fishery include blue marlin, Indian oil sardine, and blue shark.The main ETP species include silky shark, longfin mako, and sea turtles (Collinson and Gascoigne 2015)

    Though there is a ban on shark retention and using wire leader and shark lines (WCPFC 2014), the longline fleet in 2016 reported incidental capture of IUCN near threated blue shark and silky shark. Stocks of silky shark (Rice and Harley 2013) are thought to be experiencing overfishing whereas population declines in blue shark remains contested and speculative, and consequently stock assessment findings are equivocal (Rice et al. 2014). Further information on fishing mortality rates, specifically improved estimates of health condition and post-release mortality, is required to refine and improve shark assessments and assessments of impacts to other ETP species ((Musyl et al. 2014); (Musyl et al. 2015); (Rice and Semba 2014); (Clarke et al. 2014)).

    The fishery overlaps with Regional Management Units for hawksbill, West Pacific leatherbacks, and South Pacific loggerheads (IUCN Red List Critically Endangered), green (Endangered, globally), olive Ridley (Vulnerable, globally) sea turtles. Three turtles (unidentified to species) were caught in longlines, two of which died as a result of the interactions (Federated States of Micronesia 2018). One flesh-footed shearwater and four bottlenose dolphins (1 died) were caught in FSM longlines in 2017 (Federated States of Micronesia 2018).

    Although FSM longline observer coverage is obligated to comply with a minimum 5% of fishing effort, the actual coverage is low to non-existent  (Federated States of Micronesia 2018). Electronic monitoring equipment was installed on 6 longline vessels in 2016, and 270 sets on 5 fishing trips were completed with camera systems in 2017. However, results are not yet available to evaluate whether electronic monitoring systems are a viable substitute for onboard observers (Federated States of Micronesia 2017).

    Philippines
    Handlines hand operated

    Last updated on 18 December 2018

    There are extremely low bycatch levels in pole-and-line fisheries. 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).

    Mechanized lines

    Last updated on 23 December 2010

    Troll and pole and handline fisheries typically have low bycatch associated with them.

    Taiwan, Province of China
    Longlines

    Last updated on 7 July 2014

    Observer data from Taiwanese longline vessels recorded " 33 sea turtles (4 loggerhead, 2 hawksbill, 2
    leatherback, 3 green and 22 olive ridley turtles), 127 seabirds (3 white-chinned petrels,
    108 albatrosses nei and 16 other seabirds) and 2 cetaceans (1 false killer whale and 1
    blackfish) were taken, and 2 seabirds and 1 sea turtle and 6 cetaceans were sighted in
    2011; and 28 sea turtles (1 Kemp’s ridley, 3 hawksbill, 1 leatherback, 2 green and 21
    olive ridley turtles), 16 seabirds (9 albatrosses nei, 4 great frigate birds and 2
    black-footed albatross, 1 other seabird) and 1 cetacean (1 blackfish) were taken, and
    10 seabird, 3 cetaceans were sighted in 2012." {FACA and OFDC 2013}.

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

    United States
    Longlines

    Last updated on 24 September 2009

    The Hawaii-based longline fishery comprises two sectors under a total of 164 permits: in a given year, 122 to 139 longline vessels target tuna (Thunnus spp.) using deep-set gear and 11 to 35 vessels target swordfish using shallow-set gear (NOAA-NMFS 2018). Several species of sea turtles, seabirds and marine mammals are reported as bycatch in the Hawaiian deep-set longline fishery that targets bigeye tuna. However, there are management measures in place to reduce the incidental capture of seabirds and sea turtles.

    For example, this fishery overlaps with several ETP species, including critical habitats for black-footed and Laysan albatrosses (>95% of the total global populations of both species nest in the Hawaiian Islands; (Pacific Islands Regional Office 2016)) and green and hawksbill sea turtles (both populations are endemic to Hawaii; (Wallace et al. 2010)), and bycatch with many of these species has been documented (NOAA-NMFS 2018). Under the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pacific Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region established under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, observers are required to be placed aboard Hawaii-based pelagic longline vessels targeting swordfish (shallow-set, 100% coverage) and tunas (deep-set, 20% coverage).

    The fishery overlaps with Regional Management Units for Hawaiian hawksbills and green turtles, West and East Pacific leatherbacks, and North Pacific loggerheads, green, olive ridley sea turtles, among others (Wallace et al. 2010). 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 and leatherback turtles as Critically Endangered. Leatherback and loggerhead turtles have also been listed as Endangered on the Endangered Species Act since 1970 and 1978 respectively.

    In addition to sea turtles, since 2013 the Hawaii longline fishery (both deep- and shallow-set) has also interacted with at least 5 identified species of seabirds (~450 black-footed albatrosses and ~200 Laysan albatrosses) and 14 species of marine mammals (> 100 false killer whales, > 20 bottlenose dolphins) (NOAA-NMFS 2018)

    Hawaiian breeding locations for some species of bird, including the black-footed albatross, are protected under the US National Wildlife Refuge system of State of Hawaii Seabird Sanctuaries and there is a 50 nautical mile Protected Species Zone surrounding the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, which are breeding sites for black-footed albatross {BirdLife International 2012a}. In addition, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary has been in place since 1992 {NMFS 2012}. 

    There are several measures in place to reduce seabird interactions with Hawaii longline vessels. Those vessels fishing north of 23 degrees north setting from the side must attach weights, set from the port or starboard side, use line shooters, deploy gear so hooks do not reserve, use a bird curtain and follow seabird handling guidelines. If vessels set from the stern north of 23 degrees north, they must use weights, thawed and blue dyed bait, use line shooters and employ strategic offal discharge along with following seabird handling guidelines. When fishing south of 23 degrees north and side or stern setting, vessels must follow handling guidelines {WPRFMC 2009b}. In addition, shark finning is prohibited {WPRFMC 2009b} and there are sea turtle handling guidelines {WPRFMC 2009b}. Vessels are required to use circle hooks and mackerel bait to reduce sea turtle interactions, there is a bycatch limit in the shallow-set fishery of 34 loggerhead and 16 leatherback sea turtles and sea turtle handling requirements {NMFS 2012} {WPRFMC 2009b}{PIRO 2014}. These mitigation measures have been shown to be effective at reducing interactions by 83% {Gilman et al. 2007}.

    Temporal-spatial closures, setting restrictions, and strategic offal discards to mitigate seabird interactions are applied to both deep- and shallow-set components of the Hawaii longline fishery (PIRO 2018). NOAA estimated nearly 2,500 seabird takes in the Hawaii longline fishery (both shallow-set and deep-set components) in 2000, but the implementation of the aforementioned measures has significantly decreased seabird bycatch; in 2016, only 65 seabird takes occurred in the shallow-set fishery and 691 takes were estimated in the deep-set fishery (Pacific Islands Regional Office 2016). Observed seabird takes in the deep-set fishery have ranged from 9 in 2004 to 144 in 2016, averaging approximately 60 takes per year (Pacific Islands Regional Office 2016).

    In addition, when fishing in international waters, longliners must comply with measures adopted by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). In the WCPFC, several existing conservation measures are intended to address bycatch monitoring, reporting, and to reduce negative effects of bycatch on ETP species including sharks ((WCPFC 2011); (WCPFC 2013); (WCPFC 2014)), seabirds (WCPFC 2015), and sea turtles (WCPFC 2008); as a WCPFC member, the USA participates in these measures.For example, WCPFC members are asked to implement the International Plan of Action for Reducing Incidental Catches of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries. Vessels fishing north of 23N in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) are required to use at least two mitigation measures including at least one of the following: side setting, night setting, tori line or weighted branch line. Members must submit annual reports detailing the mitigation measures used and are encouraged to undertake additional mitigation research {WCPFC 2012b}. Members of the WCPFC are also to implement the FAO Guidelines to Reduce Sea Turtle Mortality in Fishing Operations. Proper handling and release guidelines should be used when hard-shell turtles are incidentally captured and longline vessels must carry line cutters and de-hookers to allow for the safe handling and release of turtles. Longline fisheries are also urged to research mitigation techniques such as the use of circle hooks {WCPFC 2008}. In addition, fisheries observers record and report interactions with seabirds and turtles {WCPFC 2012b}{WCPFC 2008}.

    Commercial shark finning is prohibited but the longline fleet incidentally captures IUCN endangered (scalloped hammerhead), vulnerable (mako, oceanic whitetip, thresher (Alopias spp.)) and near threated (blue shark, silky shark) elasmobranch species (NOAA-NMFS 2018). There are retention bans on silky sharks(WCPFC 2013) and oceanic white-tip sharks (WCPFC 2011) in WCPFC fleets, but the deep-set fishery caught an estimated 237 (53 dead) and 228 (54 dead) individuals of these two species, respectively, in 2017 alone. Recent stock assessments determined that status of shark species range from data poor (i.e., status could not be determined; shortfin mako (International Scientific Committee 2018) to not overfished (blue sharks (International Scientific Committee 2014)) to overfished (oceanic whitetip sharks and silky sharks (Rice and Harley 2012);(Rice and Harley 2013)). Further information on fishing mortality rates, specifically improved estimates of health condition and post-release mortality, is required to refine and improve shark assessments and assessments of impacts to other ETP species ((Clarke et al. 2014) (Rice and Semba 2014); (Musyl et al. 2015)).

    The large and diverse suite of bycatch mitigation regulations, in combination with robust observer coverage and regular (quarterly and annual) reporting, make the deep-set Hawaii longline fishery unique with respect to ETP bycatch reduction and monitoring effort among similar commercial fleets. However, it is worth noting that concerns about the extent to which some bycatch mitigation approaches (e.g., circle hooks vs J-hooks) might benefit some species (e.g., sea turtles, marine mammals) but not others (e.g., elasmobranchs) have resulted in calls for fishery-specific, multi-taxa approaches to reducing bycatch (Gilman et al. 2016).

    In 2006, the Hawaii pelagic longline fishery became the world’s first fishery to be assessed against the comprehensive provisions if the 1995 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (Bartram et al. 2006); the Code of Conduct forms the basis on which the FAO issues Ecolabeling Guidelines. This fishery was reassessed against the Code of Conduct again in 2008, achieving a compliance score of 94% (Bartram et al. 2008).  

    Other Species

    Last updated on 16 January 2018

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

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

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

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

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

    Malaysia
    Hooks and lines

    Last updated on 6 June 2014

    Handline fisheries typically have very low bycatch associated with them.

    Viet Nam
    Longlines

    Last updated on 28 January 2019

    In addition to yellowfin tuna, bigeye and albacore tuna are also targeted by Vietnam. Several billfish species, including black, blue and striped marlin and swordfish are also caught. Due to a lack of observer program, there is little information on other bycatch species {Vietnam 2013}(Vietnam 2017)​. It is likely that sharks and other bony fish are also caught in this fishery, as they are common bycatch species in longline fisheries (Banks and Lewis 2011).

    Vietnam is a cooperating non-member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). Members of the WCPFC are prohibited from retaining, transshipping, storing or landing oceanic whitetip sharks and any incidentally caught sharks should be released, the incident recorded and reported {WCPFC 2012e}. Members are also to implement the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks and National Plans of Action should have policies in place to reduce waste and discarding of sharks. Information on catch and effort for key species is to be reported and shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010}. In the South Pacific, the WCPFC limited the number of vessels targeting swordfish and catches to levels from any year between 2000 and 2005 and required this information to be reported to the Commission {WCPFC 2009}. In addition, a phased reduction in catches of striped marlin in the North Pacific began in 2010, and was scheduled to run through 2012, resulting in an 80% reduction of 2000-2003 levels. Individual countries were to identify ways to accomplish this {WCPFC 2010b}.

    Drifting longlines

    Last updated on 28 January 2019

    In addition to yellowfin tuna, bigeye and albacore tuna are also targeted by Vietnam. Several billfish species, including black, blue and striped marlin and swordfish are also caught. Due to a lack of observer program, there is little information on other bycatch species {Vietnam 2013}(Vietnam 2017). It is likely that sharks and other bony fish are also caught in this fishery, as they are common bycatch species in longline fisheries.

    Vietnam is a cooperating non-member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). Members of the WCPFC are prohibited from retaining, transshipping, storing or landing oceanic whitetip sharks and any incidentally caught sharks should be released, the incident recorded and reported {WCPFC 2012e}. Members are also to implement the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks and National Plans of Action should have policies in place to reduce waste and discarding of sharks. Information on catch and effort for key species is to be reported and shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010}. In the South Pacific, the WCPFC limited the number of vessels targeting swordfish and catches to levels from any year between 2000 and 2005 and required this information to be reported to the Commission {WCPFC 2009}. In addition, a phased reduction in catches of striped marlin in the North Pacific began in 2010, and was scheduled to run through 2012, resulting in an 80% reduction of 2000-2003 levels. Individual countries were to identify ways to accomplish this {WCPFC 2010b}.

    Australia

    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 yellowfin 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}.

    Oceanic whitetip, silky and shortfin mako sharks and striped marlin are either overfished or their status is unknown {Rice and Harley 2012a,b}{Clark 2011}{Lee et al. 2012}.

    In addition to these measures, Australia has a Bycatch and Discarding Workplan {AFMA 2008} and Australia must comply with WCPFC measures which include the prohibition from retaining, transshipping, storing or landing oceanic whitetip sharks and any incidentally caught sharks should be released, the incident recorded and reported {WCPFC 2012e}. In addition, a phased reduction in catches of striped marlin in the North Pacific began in 2010, and was scheduled to run through 2012, resulting in an 80% reduction of 2000-2003 levels. Individual countries were to identify ways to accomplish this {WCPFC 2010b. Australia has introduced a TAC for striped marlin. Member countries were also to limit the number of fishing vessels targeting swordfish to levels from any year between 2000 and 2005 {WCPFC 2009}. Australia initiated the fishing permit surrender program in 2006, introduced a TAC for swordfish, which has now changed to an individual transferable quota system {Patterson et al. 2013}.

    Bycatch in troll and pole and handline fisheries is typically minor in nature.

    China
    Longlines

    Last updated on 14 April 2015

    According to Chinese longline observer records, striped, blue and black marlin along with blue, shortfin and oceanic whitetips sharks are the most commonly captured bycatch species {China 2013}. Oceanic whitetip, and shortfin mako sharks and striped marlin are either overfished or their status is unknown {Rice and Harley 2012b}{Clark 2011}{Lee et al. 2012}.Oceanic whtietip sharks are overfished and undergoing overfishing {Rice and Harley 2012}.

    As cooperating members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries  Commission (WCPFC), China must comply with their management measures. Members of the WCPFC are prohibited from retaining, transshipping, storing or landing oceanic whitetip sharks and any incidentally caught sharks should be released, the incident recorded and reported {WCPFC 2012b}. Members are also to implement the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks and National Plans of Action should have policies in place to reduce waste and discarding of sharks. Information on catch and effort for key species is to be reported and shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010}. In addition, a phased reduction in catches of striped marlin in the North Pacific began in 2010, and was scheduled to run through 2012, resulting in an 80% reduction of 2000-2003 levels. Individual countries were to identify ways to accomplish this {WCPFC 2010b. Member countries were also to limit the number of fishing vessels targeting swordfish to levels from any year between 2000 and 2005 {WCPFC 2009}. It is unclear if or how China accomplished either of these.

    French Polynesia
    Longlines

    Last updated on 1 February 2019

    The French Polynesian longline fleet captuers several tuna species including albacore, skipjack and yellowfin. Blue marlin, striped marlin and swordfish are also captured by this fishery along with other fish species such as wahoo and mahi mahi (French Polynesia 2018). Shark species including blue (n=8356), silky (n=2037), shortfin mako (n=1011) and oceantic whitetip (n=6129) sharks have all been reported as incidentally captured in this fishery during 2016 (French Polynesia 2018). French Polynesia prohibits directed fishing of sharks and finning is illegal (French Polynesia 2018). During 2016, sharks made up 4.6% of the total catch and had a 71% release rate (French Polynesia 2018). French Polynesia is a Participating Territory of the WCPFC and therefore abides by management measures aimed at other species, such as billfish and sharks (FP 2017).

    Indonesia

    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; IOTC, 2002; Romanov, 2002; Bromhead et al., 2003; Secretariat of the Pacific Community, 2006; WCPFC, 2007; An et al., 2009; Nicol et al., 2009).

    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).

    Members of the WCPFC are prohibited from retaining, transshipping, storing or landing oceanic whitetip sharks and any incidentally caught sharks should be released, the incident recorded and reported {WCPFC 2012f}. Members are also to implement the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks and National Plans of Action should have policies in place to reduce waste and discarding of sharks. Information on catch and effort for key species is to be reported and shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010b}. In the South Pacific, the WCPFC limited the number of vessels targeting swordfish and catches to levels from any year between 2000 and 2005 and required this information to be reported to the Commission {WCPFC 2009}. Starting on 1 January 2010, WCPFC coverage of purse seine vessels is intended to be 100% within the area bounded by 20oN and 20oS, and has adopted a target of 5% coverage by 30 June 2012 of all trips by longline and other vessels (WCPFC 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).

    Information specific to Indonesian fisheries is limited.

    FAD-free

    Last updated on 24 January 2019

    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; IOTC, 2002; Romanov, 2002; Bromhead et al., 2003; Secretariat of the Pacific Community, 2006; WCPFC, 2007; An et al., 2009; Nicol et al., 2009).

    Members of the WCPFC are prohibited from retaining, transshipping, storing or landing oceanic whitetip sharks and any incidentally caught sharks should be released, the incident recorded and reported {WCPFC 2012f}. Members are also to implement the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks and National Plans of Action should have policies in place to reduce waste and discarding of sharks. Information on catch and effort for key species is to be reported and shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010b}. In the South Pacific, the WCPFC limited the number of vessels targeting swordfish and catches to levels from any year between 2000 and 2005 and required this information to be reported to the Commission {WCPFC 2009}. Starting on 1 January 2010, WCPFC coverage of purse seine vessels is intended to be 100% within the area bounded by 20oN and 20oS, and has adopted a target of 5% coverage by 30 June 2012 of all trips by longline and other vessels (WCPFC 2008).

    Longlines

    Last updated on 24 January 2019

    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. 

    During 2016 and 2017, Indonesia reported captures of dogfish (primary species reported), oceanic whitetip (2017 only), silky sharks, tiger sharks, hammerhead sharks, blue sharks, thresher sharks and mako sharks (MMAF 2018).

    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).

    As cooperating members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commision (WCPFC), Indonesia must comply with their management measures. Members of the WCPFC are prohibited from retaining, transshipping, storing or landing oceanic whitetip sharks and any incidentally caught sharks should be released, the incident recorded and reported {WCPFC 2012b}. Members are also to implement the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks and National Plans of Action should have policies in place to reduce waste and discarding of sharks. Information on catch and effort for key species is to be reported and shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010}. Member countries were also to limit the number of fishing vessels targeting swordfish to levels from any year between 2000 and 2005 {WCPFC 2009}.

    Indonesia has an observer program in place. During 2017, 6 observers were deployed aboard longline vessels and spent 93 days at sea (MMAF 2018).

    Hooks and lines

    Last updated on 10 March 2017

    There are extremely low bycatch levels in hook-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 hook-and-line fisheries has been raised, as have other ecological issues (ecosystem effects of removal of baitfish species, over-exploitation of target baitfish species, habitat degradation) and socioeconomic issues (food security impacts
    with coastal communities) (FAO, 2008; Gillett, 2010).

    Purse seines

    Last updated on 24 January 2019

    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; IOTC, 2002; Romanov, 2002; Bromhead et al., 2003; Secretariat of the Pacific Community, 2006; WCPFC, 2007; An et al., 2009; Nicol et al., 2009).

    Members of the WCPFC are prohibited from retaining, transshipping, storing or landing oceanic whitetip sharks and any incidentally caught sharks should be released, the incident recorded and reported {WCPFC 2012f}. Members are also to implement the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks and National Plans of Action should have policies in place to reduce waste and discarding of sharks. Information on catch and effort for key species is to be reported and shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010b}. In the South Pacific, the WCPFC limited the number of vessels targeting swordfish and catches to levels from any year between 2000 and 2005 and required this information to be reported to the Commission {WCPFC 2009}. Starting on 1 January 2010, WCPFC coverage of purse seine vessels is intended to be 100% within the area bounded by 20oN and 20oS, and has adopted a target of 5% coverage by 30 June 2012 of all trips by longline and other vessels (WCPFC 2008).

    Pole-lines hand operated

    Last updated on 30 January 2015

    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, over-exploitation of target baitfish species, habitat degradation) and socioeconomic issues (food security impacts
    with coastal communities) (FAO, 2008; Gillett, 2010).

    Drifting longlines

    Last updated on 24 January 2019

    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. 

    During 2016 and 2017, Indonesia reported captures of dogfish (primary species reported), oceanic whitetip (2017 only), silky sharks, tiger sharks, hammerhead sharks, blue sharks, thresher sharks and mako sharks (MMAF 2018).

    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).

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

    Indonesia has an observer program in place. During 2017, 6 observers were deployed aboard longline vessels and spent 93 days at sea (MMAF 2018).

    Korea, Republic of
    Longlines

    Last updated on 4 August 2011

    Korea has reported the incidental capture of several sharks species by their tuna longline fleet: blue, thresher, hammerhead, mako, silky and oceanic whitetip. Several billfish, most notably blue marlin, swordfish and black marlin are also caught in this fishery as are striped marlin, although in far fewer numbers {Geun et al. 2013}. Silky and oceanic whitetip sharks along with striped marlin are depleted in the WCPO {Rice and Harley 2012a,b}{Lee et al. 2012}.

    As cooperating members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), Korea must comply with their management measures. Members of the WCPFC are prohibited from retaining, transshipping, storing or landing oceanic whitetip sharks and any incidentally caught sharks should be released, the incident recorded and reported {WCPFC 2012b}. Members are also to implement the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks and National Plans of Action should have policies in place to reduce waste and discarding of sharks. Information on catch and effort for key species is to be reported and shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010}. In addition, a phased reduction in catches of striped marlin in the North Pacific began in 2010, and was scheduled to run through 2012, resulting in an 80% reduction of 2000-2003 levels. Individual countries were to identify ways to accomplish this {WCPFC 2010b. Member countries were also to limit the number of fishing vessels targeting swordfish to levels from any year between 2000 and 2005 {WCPFC 2009}. Korea has complied with the striped marlin, swordfish and shark finning requirements {WCPFC 2013}.

    Marshall Islands
    Drifting longlines

    Last updated on 19 January 2011

    The Marshall Islands banned the retention of sharks caught in the longline fishery in 2011 {OIAD 2013}. There is no observer program in place so it cannot be determined how many sharks may have been caught and discarded. In addition to yellowfin tuna, bigeye and albacore tuna are also caught. Billfish, including blue (most common) and black marlin and swordfish are also reported in this fishery {OIAD 2013}.

    As cooperating members of the Wesstern and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), the Marshall Islands must comply with their management measures. Members of the WCPFC are prohibited from retaining, transshipping, storing or landing oceanic whitetip and silky sharks and any incidentally caught sharks should be released, the incident recorded and reported {WCPFC 2012b}{WCPFC 2012c}. Members are also to implement the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks and National Plans of Action should have policies in place to reduce waste and discarding of sharks. Information on catch and effort for key species is to be reported and shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010}. In addition, member countries were to limit the number of fishing vessels targeting swordfish to levels from any year between 2000 and 2005 {WCPFC 2009}. The Marshall Islands has complied with part of the swordfish measure and with the shark related measures {WCPFC 2013c}.

    Micronesia, Federated States of
    Longlines

    Last updated on 2 June 2014

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

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

    Philippines
    Pole-lines hand operated

    Last updated on 31 July 2014

    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). 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, over-exploitation of target baitfish species, habitat degradation) and socioeconomic issues (food security impacts with coastal communities) (FAO, 2008; Gillett, 2010).

    Mechanized lines

    Last updated on 23 December 2010

    Troll and pole fisheries typically have low bycatch associated with them.

    Taiwan, Province of China
    Longlines

    Last updated on 7 July 2014

    The Taiwanese longline fisheries also capture several species of billfish, including swordfish and blue, striped and black marlin, and sharks, primarily blue, silky and mako’s but also thresher, oceanic whitetip sharks and hammerheads. Striped marlin populations are overfished and overfishing is occurring {Lee et al. 2012} and shortfin mako populations are unknown although fishing pressure may be too high {Chang and Liu 2009} and oceanic whitetip sharks are depleted {Rice and Harley 2012}. Taiwan is conducting research on shark species caught in these fisheries and complies with the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commisison (WCPFC) measures. As cooperating members of the WCPFC, Taiwan must comply with their management measures. Members of the WCPFC are prohibited from retaining, transshipping, storing or landing oceanic whitetip sharks and any incidentally caught sharks should be released, the incident recorded and reported {WCPFC 2012b}. Members are also to implement the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks and National Plans of Action should have policies in place to reduce waste and discarding of sharks. Information on catch and effort for key species is to be reported and shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010}. In addition, a phased reduction in catches of striped marlin in the North Pacific began in 2010, and was scheduled to run through 2012, resulting in an 80% reduction of 2000-2003 levels. Individual countries were to identify ways to accomplish this {WCPFC 2010b. Member countries were also to limit the number of fishing vessels targeting swordfish to levels from any year between 2000 and 2005 {WCPFC 2009}. Taiwan has complied with the swordfish measure and part of the measure for striped marlin {FACA and OFDC 2012}{WCPFC 2013c}.

    United States
    Longlines

    Last updated on 24 September 2009

    The Hawaii longline deep-set longline fishery that targets bigeye tuna also catches other species of tunas, fish, and sharks. Billfish can also be caught but to a much lesser degree. There are some measures in place both domestically and internationally for these other species. Other commonly captured species in the Hawaii deep-set longline fishery include: blue and shortfin mako sharks, dolphinfish and opah.

    Members of the WCPFC, including the US lognline fleet, 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 2012c}. Members are also to implement the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks and National Plans of Action should have policies in place to reduce waste and discarding of sharks. Information on catch and effort for key species is to be reported and shark finning is banned (5% ratio) {WCPFC 2010}. There are no management measures for dolphinfish or opah.

    HABITAT

    Last updated on 12 June 2019

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

    Marine Reserves

    Last updated on 17 Nov 2010

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

    Malaysia
    Hooks and lines

    Last updated on 12 September 2012

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

    Australia
    Longlines

    Last updated on 3 August 2013

    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 03 Aug 2013

    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 7 November 2007

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

    Pole-lines hand operated

    Last updated on 7 November 2007

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

    Indonesia
    Handlines hand operated

    Last updated on 1 July 2019

    The Indonesian yellowfin tuna handline fishery is a pelagic fishery, which operates in deep oceanic waters and do not interact with the seabed. Negligible habitats impacts would therefore be anticipated (Moody Marine LTD 2010); (Hough 2018)).  However, the fishery uses anchored fishing aggregation devices (FADs), which the MSC recognizes as habitat modifications (Hough 2018). The extent to which this fishery contributes chemical pollution or derelict fishing gear into oceanic pelagic habitats operates is unknown but warrants review.

    Longlines

    Last updated on 24 November 2010

    The Indonesian yellowfin tuna longline fishery is a pelagic fishery, which operates in deep oceanic waters and do not interact with the seabed. Negligible habitats impacts would therefore be anticipated ((Moody Marine LTD 2010); (Hough 2018)).  The extent to which this fishery contributes chemical pollution or derelict fishing gear into oceanic pelagic habitats operates is unknown but warrants review.

    Marine Reserves

    Last updated on 24 Nov 2010

    There are 35 marine conservation areas (protected areas) in Indonesia by 2002, totaling 47 thousand km2. Compared to Indonesia’s total marine territory of 7.9 million km2 (including the Exclusive Economic Zone), this is far from sufficient. Many of these protected areas include mangrove forests, the spawning grounds for shrimp and other marine biotas.

    Hooks and lines

    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.

    Marine Reserves

    Last updated on 24 Nov 2010

    There are 35 marine conservation areas (protected areas) in Indonesia by 2002, totaling 47 thousand km2. Compared to Indonesia’s total marine territory of 7.9 million km2 (including the Exclusive Economic Zone), this is far from sufficient. Many of these protected areas include mangrove forests, the spawning grounds for shrimp and other marine biotas.

    Purse seines

    Last updated on 29 May 2014

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

    Marine Reserves

    Last updated on 29 May 2014

    There are 35 marine conservation areas (protected areas) in Indonesia by 2002, totaling 47 thousand km2. Compared to Indonesia’s total marine territory of 7.9 million km2 (including the Exclusive Economic Zone), this is far from sufficient. Many of these protected areas include mangrove forests, the spawning grounds for shrimp and other marine biotas.

    Pole-lines hand operated

    Last updated on 12 July 2014

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

    Marine Reserves

    Last updated on 12 Jul 2014

    There were 35 marine conservation areas (protected areas) in Indonesia by 2002, totaling 47 thousand km2. Compared to Indonesia’s total marine territory of 7.9 million km2 (including the Exclusive Economic Zone), this is far from sufficient. Many of these protected areas include mangrove forests, the spawning grounds for shrimp and other marine biotas. WCPFC has a time/area closure on purse seine sets on FADs and other floating objects by purse seine vessels for three months annually in the area bounded by 20ºN and 20ºS (WCPFC, 2008a, 2009a). In 2008, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, a regional agreement establishing terms and conditions for foreign access to the Exclusive Economic Zones of eight Pacific Island Countries, closed to purse seine fishing two areas of high seas international waters that are enclosed by the Parties’ domestic waters (PNA, 2008).

    For small-scale fisheries in particular, no specific spatial or temporal restrictions are known to be in place.

    Drifting longlines

    Last updated on 2 July 2019

    The Indonesian yellowfin tuna longline fishery is a pelagic fishery, which operates in deep oceanic waters and do not interact with the seabed. Negligible habitats impacts would therefore be anticipated ((Moody Marine LTD 2010); (Hough 2018)).  The extent to which this fishery contributes chemical pollution or derelict fishing gear into oceanic pelagic habitats operates is unknown but warrants review.

    Seine nets

    Last updated on 29 May 2014

    Marine Reserves

    Last updated on 29 May 2014

    There were 35 marine conservation areas (protected areas) in Indonesia by 2002, totaling 47 thousand km2 (De Fretes, 2008), many of these included mangrove forests, the spawning grounds for shrimp and other marine biotas. However, compared to Indonesia’s total marine territory of 7.9 million km2 (including the Exclusive Economic Zone), this is far from sufficient.

     
    Korea, Republic of
    Longlines

    Last updated on 4 August 2011

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

    Marshall Islands
    Drifting longlines

    Last updated on 2 July 2019

    The RMI tuna longline fishery is a pelagic fishery, which operates in deep oceanic waters and does not interact with the seabed. Negligible habitats impacts would, therefore, be anticipated (Collinson, et al. 2013). The extent to which this fishery contributes chemical pollution or derelict fishing gear into oceanic pelagic habitats operates is unknown but warrants review.

    Longlines

    Last updated on 2 July 2019

    The RMI tuna longline fishery is a pelagic fishery, which operates in deep oceanic waters and does not interact with the seabed. Negligible habitats impacts would, therefore, be anticipated (Collinson, et al. 2013). The extent to which this fishery contributes chemical pollution or derelict fishing gear into oceanic pelagic habitats operates is unknown but warrants review.

    Micronesia, Federated States of
    Longlines

    Last updated on 12 June 2019

    The FSM tuna longline fishery is a pelagic fishery, which operate in deep oceanic waters and do not interact with the seabed. Negligible habitats impacts would therefore be anticipated (Collinson and Gascoigne 2015). The extent to which this fishery contributes chemical pollution or derelict fishing gear into oceanic pelagic habitats operates is unknown but warrants review.

    Philippines
    Pole-lines hand operated

    Last updated on 4 December 2013

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

    Marine Reserves

    Last updated on 04 Dec 2013

    No marine reserves have been reported for handline fleet operating in Philippine waters.

    United States
    Longlines

    Last updated on 24 September 2009

    The Hawaii tuna longline fishery is a pelagic fishery, which operate in deep oceanic waters and do not interact with the seabed. Negligible habitats impacts would therefore be anticipated (Sustainability Incubator 2018). The extent to which this fishery contributes chemical pollution or derelict fishing gear into oceanic pelagic habitats operates is unknown but warrants review.
    Marine Reserves

    Last updated on 24 Sep 2009

    Fisheries protection measures for pelagic fish species in USA under the PPMUS (Pacific pelagic management unit species) include:

    In American Samoa, longliners of more than 50 feet in length are prohibited from operating in an area between 3 to 50 nm. Two 50-mile area closures are in place for vessels larger than 50 feet.

    A mandatory observer program is in place to collect information on interaction between longliners and sea turtles for the Hawaii-based longline bigeye fishery and the American Samoa longline albacore fishery.

    Hawaii based longliners are also require to use a NMFS owned VMS transmitter to detect any violations of longliners and prevent such incursions into protected areas.

    ECOSYSTEM
    Indonesia
    Handlines hand operated

    Last updated on 1 July 2019

    Fisheries that target high-level predators such as tunas will have some impact on marine ecosystems. Some research has suggested that exploitation by tuna fisheries can alter both target populations and a diversity of other species in the affected ecosystems ((Hinke et al. 2004); see (Schindler et al. 2002), for review); however, there is little empirical evidence for top-down control in oceanic ecosystems such as the WCPO ((Baum and Myers 2009)). In addition, the Indonesian yellowfin handline fishery in the WCPO uses fishing aggregation devices (FADs), which are habitat modifications that could entrain tuna and other species, including ETP species ((Hough 2018)). It is unclear what effects these FADs might have on WCPO ecosystems.

    In addition, the handline fishery catches its own bait (Hough 2018). Large quantities of baitfish are needed to support productive hook and line tuna fisheries; depending on the type and source of these baitfish, required quantities might not be possible or sustainable (Gillett 2011). Thus, baitfish harvest for longline tuna fishing operations could affect pelagic ecosystems as well.

    Some studies have included the North Central Pacific, Central Pacific, and Eastern Tropical Pacific and have suggested mesopredator and prey releases when predatory tuna species are overexploited, as well as increased abundance of blue marlin, tuna, and shark stocks with decreased exploitation (Schindler et al. 2002); (Baum and Myers 2009). Given the relatively small size of the large-sized (>10GT) handline vessel fleet fishing in WCPO, and the relatively high catch selectivity of this gear compared to industrial-scale longlines (Hough 2018), the ecosystem effects of > 10 GT tuna handlines is likely to be modest.

    Longlines

    Fisheries that target high-level predators such as tunas will have some impact on marine ecosystems. Some research has suggested that exploitation by tuna fisheries can alter both target populations and a diversity of other species in the affected ecosystems ((Hinke et al. 2004); see (Schindler et al. 2002), for review); however, there is little empirical evidence for top-down control in oceanic ecosystems such as the WCPO (Baum and Myers 2009)

    In general, if a tuna fishery maintains target catch at or below MSY, it is not expected to have top-down ecosystem impacts. Both bigeye (WCPFC 2018) and yellowfin tuna (WCPFC 2018) are current at or below MSY. Some studies have included the North Central Pacific, Central Pacific, and Eastern Tropical Pacific and have suggested mesopredator and prey releases when predatory tuna species are overexploited, as well as increased abundance of blue marlin, tuna, and shark stocks with decreased exploitation (Ward and Myers 2005); (Kitchell et al. 2006)). 

    Large quantities of baitfish are needed to support productive hook and line tuna fisheries; depending on the type and source of these baitfish, required quantities might not be possible or sustainable (Gillett 2011). Thus, baitfish harvest for longline tuna fishing operations could affect pelagic ecosystems as well.

    Drifting longlines

    Last updated on 2 July 2019

    Fisheries that target high-level predators such as tunas will have some impact on marine ecosystems. Some research has suggested that exploitation by tuna fisheries can alter both target populations and a diversity of other species in the affected ecosystems ((Hinke et al. 2004); see (Schindler et al. 2002), for review); however, there is little empirical evidence for top-down control in oceanic ecosystems such as the WCPO (Baum and Myers 2009)

    In general, if a tuna fishery maintains target catch at or below MSY, it is not expected to have top-down ecosystem impacts. Both bigeye (WCPFC 2018) and yellowfin tuna (WCPFC 2018) are current at or below MSY. Some studies have included the North Central Pacific, Central Pacific, and Eastern Tropical Pacific and have suggested mesopredator and prey releases when predatory tuna species are overexploited, as well as increased abundance of blue marlin, tuna, and shark stocks with decreased exploitation (Ward and Myers 2005); (Kitchell et al. 2006)). 

    Large quantities of baitfish are needed to support productive hook and line tuna fisheries; depending on the type and source of these baitfish, required quantities might not be possible or sustainable (Gillett 2011). Thus, baitfish harvest for longline tuna fishing operations could affect pelagic ecosystems as well.

    Marshall Islands
    Drifting longlines

    Last updated on 2 July 2019

    Fisheries that target high-level predators such as tunas will have some impact on marine ecosystems. Some research has suggested that exploitation by tuna fisheries can alter both target populations and a diversity of other species in the affected ecosystems (Hinke et al. 2004); see (Schindler et al. 2002), for review); however, there is little empirical evidence for top-down control in oceanic ecosystems such as the West Central Pacific Ocean (Baum and Myers 2009). However, Allain et al. ((Allain et al. 2012)) reported that over a third of the diets of small (<50cm) tunas (e.g., skipjack, yellowfin) in the WCPO contained reef-dwelling organisms, suggesting a potential interaction between oceanic and coastal ecosystems, particularly in the West Pacific. 

    In general, if a tuna fishery maintains target catch at or below MSY, it is not expected to have top-down ecosystem impacts. Both bigeye (WCPFC 2018) and yellowfin tuna (WCPFC 2018) are current at or below MSY, in accordance with the goal of the current WCPFC management strategy for major tuna species (WCPFC 2018). Some studies have included the North Central Pacific, Central Pacific, and Eastern Tropical Pacific and have suggested mesopredator and prey releases when predatory tuna species are overexploited, as well as increased abundance of blue marlin, tuna, and shark stocks with decreased exploitation (Ward and Myers 2005); (Kitchell et al. 2006)

    Large quantities of baitfish are needed to support productive hook and line tuna fisheries; depending on the type and source of these baitfish, required quantities might not be possible or sustainable (Gillett 2011). Thus, baitfish harvest for longline tuna fishing operations could affect pelagic ecosystems as well.

    Longlines

    Last updated on 2 July 2019

    Fisheries that target high-level predators such as tunas will have some impact on marine ecosystems. Some research has suggested that exploitation by tuna fisheries can alter both target populations and a diversity of other species in the affected ecosystems (Hinke et al. 2004); see (Schindler et al. 2002), for review); however, there is little empirical evidence for top-down control in oceanic ecosystems such as the West Central Pacific Ocean (Baum and Myers 2009). However, Allain et al. ((Allain et al. 2012)) reported that over a third of the diets of small (<50cm) tunas (e.g., skipjack, yellowfin) in the WCPO contained reef-dwelling organisms, suggesting a potential interaction between oceanic and coastal ecosystems, particularly in the West Pacific. 

    In general, if a tuna fishery maintains target catch at or below MSY, it is not expected to have top-down ecosystem impacts. Both bigeye (WCPFC 2018) and yellowfin tuna (WCPFC 2018) are current at or below MSY, in accordance with the goal of the current WCPFC management strategy for major tuna species (WCPFC 2018). Some studies have included the North Central Pacific, Central Pacific, and Eastern Tropical Pacific and have suggested mesopredator and prey releases when predatory tuna species are overexploited, as well as increased abundance of blue marlin, tuna, and shark stocks with decreased exploitation (Ward and Myers 2005); (Kitchell et al. 2006)

    Large quantities of baitfish are needed to support productive hook and line tuna fisheries; depending on the type and source of these baitfish, required quantities might not be possible or sustainable (Gillett 2011). Thus, baitfish harvest for longline tuna fishing operations could affect pelagic ecosystems as well.

    Micronesia, Federated States of
    Longlines

    Last updated on 12 June 2019

    Fisheries that target high-level predators such as tunas will have some impact on marine ecosystems. Some research has suggested that exploitation by tuna fisheries can alter both target populations and a diversity of other species in the affected ecosystems ((Hinke et al. 2004); see (Schindler et al. 2002), for review); however, there is little empirical evidence for top-down control in oceanic ecosystems such as the West Central Pacific Ocean (Baum and Myers 2009). However, Allain et al. ((Allain et al. 2012)) reported that over a third of the diets of small (<50cm) tunas (e.g., skipjack, yellowfin) in the WCPO contained reef-dwelling organisms, suggesting a potential interaction between oceanic and coastal ecosystems, particularly in the West Pacific. 

    In general, if a tuna fishery maintains target catch at or below MSY, it is not expected to have top-down ecosystem impacts. Both bigeye and yellowfin tuna are current at or below MSY (Collinson and Gascoigne 2015). Although some studies have included the North Central Pacific, Central Pacific, and Eastern Tropical Pacific ((Schindler et al. 2002); (Baum and Myers 2009)) and have suggested mesopredator and prey releases when predatory tuna species are overexploited, no studies – either empirically derived or model-based – have examined potential ecosystem effects in the FSM tuna fishery.

    United States
    Longlines

    Fisheries that target high-level predators such as tunas will have some impact on marine ecosystems. Some research has suggested that exploitation by tuna fisheries can alter both target populations and a diversity of other species in the affected ecosystems ((Hinke et al. 2004); see (Schindler et al. 2002), for review); however, there is little empirical evidence for top-down control in oceanic ecosystems such as the West Central Pacific Ocean (Baum and Worm, 2009). However, (Allain et al. 2012) reported that over a third of the diets of small (<50cm) tunas (e.g., skipjack, yellowfin) in the WCPO contained reef-dwelling organisms, suggesting a potential interaction between oceanic and coastal ecosystems, particularly in the West Pacific. 

    In general, if a tuna fishery maintains target catch at or below MSY, it is not expected to have top-down ecosystem impacts. Both bigeye (WCPFC 2018) and yellowfin tuna (WCPFC 2018) are current at or below MSY. Although some studies have included the North Central Pacific, Central Pacific, and Eastern Tropical Pacific ((Schindler et al. 2002); (Baum and Myers 2009)) and have suggested mesopredator and prey releases when predatory tuna species are overexploited, few studies – either empirically derived or model-based – have examined potential ecosystem effects in the Hawaii longline tuna fishery.

    The catch record for the deep-set Hawaii longline fishery is uniquely comprehensive among similar fisheries, which has allowed for analysis of potential ecosystem dynamics. In particular, using a time series of catch data in the deep-set component between 1996-2011 for 23 species ranging in size from < 1 kg to > 220 kg, Polovina and Woodworth-Jeffcoats ((Polovina and Woodworth-Jefcoats 2013)) found that size-based predation can structure the subtropical ecosystem such that CPUE trends for larger species were trending downward, possibly resulting in trends for smaller (prey) species to increase. Polovina and Woodworth-Jeffcoats ((Polovina and Woodworth-Jefcoats 2013)) recommended that targeted sampling for fishes smaller than those caught in the fishery should be performed to augment catch-based indicators and thus track potential ecosystem effects over time. However, Choy et al. ((Choy et al. 2013)) described trophic niche partitioning among tuna and billfish species and other predatory fishes not targeted by the Hawaii longline fishery, which might limit the extent to which fishery-induced ecosystem effects actually influence observed catch rates over time.

    In addition to the conservation and management measures for sustaining fish stocks from the regional fishery management organizations WCPFC and IATTC, the Hawaii fishery is managed in context of the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Western Pacific Ocean (NOAA Fisheries 2019) and under US law for protecting species.  

    FishSource Scores

    Last updated on 26 February 2018

    SELECT SCORES

    MANAGEMENT QUALITY

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

    As calculated for 2016 data.

    The score is ≥ 6.

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

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

    As calculated for 2016 data.

    The score is ≥ 6.

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

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

    As calculated for 2016 data.

    The score is ≥ 6.

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

    STOCK HEALTH:

    Different components of this assessment unit 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 9.5.

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

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

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

    Different components of this assessment unit 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 8.8.

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

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

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

    ECOSYSTEM IMPACTS

    Click on the score to see subscore

    Click on the score to see subscore

    Click on the score to see subscore

    ×

    Bycatch Subscores

    Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

    Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

    Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

    Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

    ×

    Habitat Subscores

    Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

    Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

    Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

    Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

    ×

    Ecosystem Subscores

    Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

    Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

    Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

    Different components has different justification at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

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

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

    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: B
    Evaluation Start Date: 1 Feb 2015
    Type: Basic

    Comments:

    Progress rating  remains B 

    1.
    FIP Development
    Aug 14
    2.
    FIP Launch
    May 14
    May 16
    3.
    FIP Implementation
    Nov 17
    4.
    Improvements in Fishing Practices and Fishery Management
    Jul 18
    5.
    Improvements on the Water
    Aug 17
    6.
    MSC certification (optional)
    MSC certificate made public

    Certifications

    Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

    SELECT MSC

    NAME

    Fiji albacore tuna longline

    STATUS

    MSC Certified on 13 December 2012

    SCORES

    This fishery was certified in December of 2012.

    Principle Level Scores:

    Principle Score
    Principle 1 – Target Species 80.6
    Principle 2 - Ecosystem 83.3
    Principle 3 – Management System 85.8

    Certification Type: Silver

    Sources

    Credits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    References

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      Yellowfin tuna - Western and Central Pacific Ocean

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