Thursday June 27, 2024

NOAA Fisheries

The recovery of Pacific bluefin tuna has achieved a major milestone—the species exceeded international targets a decade ahead of schedule. The rebuilding of Pacific bluefin tuna reflects a fisheries management success. International organizations cooperated across the Pacific to reverse decades of overfishing for the prized species.

The International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-Like Species in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC), including NOAA Fisheries researchers, provided scientific expertise to inform conservation measures. The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) adopted these measures.

The ISC recently finalized the new stock assessment at the annual meeting in Victoria, Canada. The assessment confirmed that the stock reached the second rebuilding target in 2021. If the current management measures persist, the population growth is expected to continue growing.  

“This is an amazingly resilient fish and the new assessment is showing us that. While the population is thriving, ongoing monitoring of data quality is essential to ensure the continued accuracy of the assessment,” said Dr. Huihua Lee, a research mathematical statistician at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center who led the work on the stock assessment in the United States. “It also demonstrates the success of coordinated scientific efforts taken by the member countries through the ISC.” 

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