Home WORK AREAS Stock Assessment Tuna Fisheries Assessment Report No. 20
Tuna Fisheries Assessment Report No. 20
Thursday, 03 December 2020 11:09

The annual Tuna Fisheries Assessment Reports (“TFARs”) provide the most up to date information on the tuna fisheries of the western and central Pacific Ocean and the fish stocks (mainly tuna) that are impacted by them. The information provided in this report is summary in nature, but links to detailed reference documents (accessible via the internet) are included for those seeking further details. This report is a smart PDF so if you click on a reference within the document it will take you to the figure/section, to return to the page you were on, press alt and the left arrow key. 

This report focuses on the primary tuna stocks targeted by the main Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) industrial fisheries - skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), bigeye tuna (T. obesus) and South Pacific albacore tuna (T. alalunga).

The report covers three main areas. First, an overview is presented of the industrial tuna fisheries, with emphasis on developments over the past few years. Tuna catches in 2019 totalled nearly 3 million metric tonnes, a new record.  The purse seine fishery, as well as skipjack tuna catch also established new record highs in 2019.  Second, stock status for the four target tunas is characterized and placed in context of tuna status in other ocean basins.  Within the WCPO, the most recent stock assessments suggest that all four tuna stocks are healthy, being neither overfished nor subject to overfishing. Third, ecosystem and bycatch issues are addressed, along with new information on climate impacts. Concern over the status of several billfish and shark species continues with the need to reduce catch and effort noted.  A developing La Niña episode is expected to impact the distribution of purse seine fishing in 2021.

The data used in compiling the report are those which were available to the Oceanic Fisheries Programme (OFP) at the time of publication, and are subject to change as improvements continue to be made to recent and historical catch statistics from the region. The fisheries statistics presented will usually be complete to the end of the year prior to publication. However, some minor revisions to statistics may be made for recent years from time to time. The stock assessment information presented is the most recent available at the time of publication.

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