Of the total commercial tuna catch worldwide, 85% is sourced from stocks at ‘healthy’ levels of abundance, according to the latest International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) Status of the Stocks report.
11% of the total tuna catch came from overfished stocks, and 4% came from stocks at an intermediate level of abundance, and these require stronger management measures.
According to the ISSF analysis, Mediterranean albacore, Indian ocean bigeye and Indian Ocean yellowfin stocks are overfished and subject to overfishing, and Pacific Ocean bluefin is identified as being overfished.
Since the last report in November 2022, the status of the Indian Ocean bigeye tuna stock’s biomass rating has been downgraded from green to orange, while the Indian Ocean albacore stock’s fishing mortality rate was upgraded from orange to green.
Of the overall 4.80 million tonnes of tuna caught in 2021, 56% was skipjack, followed by 31% bigeye. Bluefin accounted for just 1% of the total. 66% of catches are taken by purse seiners, with 9% caught using pole-and-line, 4% in gillnets and 14% in other gears.
Since the ISSF November 2022 report, the WCPFC has adopted a new management procedure for Western Pacific skipjack, as well as adopting a partial harvest strategy for North Pacific albacore, and ICCAT has adopted a new management procedure for Western and Eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna.