International Actions Pay Off For Pacific Bluefin Tuna as Species Rebounds at Accelerating Rate


New stock assessment reflects second highest biomass since assessments started.

Following international action to end overfishing of Pacific bluefin tuna, a new stock assessment shows that the species is now increasing and includes many younger fish that will help accelerate its rebound. The new assessment was presented at a recent plenary meeting of the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-Like Species in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC).

The assessment confirmed that the stock surpassed the first rebuilding target in 2019. It is projected to likely increase beyond the second rebuilding target established by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission later this year. This is well ahead of the internationally agreed schedule.

“The new findings demonstrate the resilience of a species that can multiply quickly when given the chance,” said Kevin Piner, a research fishery biologist at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center who led work on the stock assessment for the United States. It also reflects the strength of the current stock assessment and projections that incorporate decades of information on Pacific bluefin biology and fisheries. It also demonstrates coordinated management action by nations including the United States, Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei and Mexico.

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