WORLDWIDE: The latest report on tuna fishery status released by the organisation International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) indicates that globally, 57 percent of the tuna stocks are at a healthy level of abundance, 17 percent are overfished and 26 percent are at an intermediate level.
This document, called Status of the World Fisheries for Tuna, summarizes and rates the status and management of 23 major commercial tuna stocks, based on the most recent scientific assessments as well as management measures adopted by the Tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organizations and Bodies (RFMOs). In addition, it ranks the status and management of these stocks using a consistent methodology in terms of three factors: Abundance, Exploitation/Management (fishing mortality) and Environmental Impact (bycatch).
The report indicates that catches increased steadily until the early 2000s and although they appeared to have stabilized since then, annual catches have kept increasing in recent years.
In terms of exploitation, 65 percent of the stocks are experiencing a low fishing mortality rate, 13 percent are experiencing overfishing, and 22 percent have a high fishing mortality that is being managed adequately.
According to the data released by ISSF, the global catch of albacore, bigeye, bluefin, skipjack and yellowfin in 2015 was 4.8 million tonnes, a 4 percent decrease from 2014.
Ranked by species, the majority of the catch is skipjack (57 percent), followed by yellowfin (28 percent), bigeye (9 percent), albacore (5 percent) and bluefin (1 percent).
In terms of fishing gear, 64 percent of the catch is made by purse seining, followed by longline (12 percent), pole-and-line (9 percent), gill nets (4 percent) and miscellaneous gears (11 percent).
ISSF report states that from the point of view of total catch, 78 percent of the catch comes from healthy stocks, which is due to the fact that skipjack stocks contribute more than one half of the global catch of tunas, and they are all in a healthy situation.
In contrast, two bluefin stocks, one yellowfin stock, and one bigeye stock are overfished.
This report is updated several times each year, usually, after an RFMO assesses the stocks it is responsible for, or adopts management recommendations.