Updated Science Report Details State of WCPO Tuna Stocks

September 22, 2010 10:33

The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) has released an update to its Status of World Fisheries for Tuna report to include the most recent science made available from the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) Scientific Committee, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to ISSF.

The update includes catch averages and assessments of stock health, including:
Bigeye tuna catches have declined roughly 8% over the previous year to 118,600 tonnes and while the stock continues to experience overfishing it is not in an overfished state;
Skipjack tuna catches increased 10% in 2009 to 1.79 million tones, while the stock remains healthy, meaning it is not being overfished and is not in an overfished state;
Yellowfin tuna was not assessed but the WCPFC Scientific Committee noted that the overall stock can not support an increase in fishing pressure.

Member nations of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) meet this December in Honolulu, Hawaii to consider the conservation management recommendations made by the WCPFC Scientific Committee, including:
Increases in purse seine fishing effort are likely to yield only modest gains in skipjack catches and may increase fishing mortality for bigeye and yellowfin tunas. The management of total fishing effort in the WCPO region should take this into consideration.
CMM-2008-01 (the current WCPFC management measure) is extremely unlikely to achieve the objective of reducing fishing mortality on bigeye tuna to at least 30% below the level experienced either in 2004 or the annual average of the period 2001-2004.

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