GLOBAL - The most recent scientific data confirms that the highly sought after Pacific bluefin tuna is highly overfished and at threat and despite the science available, little action has been taken, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.
The report found that the population is at four per cent of historic levels and that 90 per cent are cauht as juveniles.
Commenting on the report, Amanda Nickson, Director, Global Tuna Conservation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, said that it is clear that the stocks of Pacific bluefin have already crashed or are very close to doing so.
Although some progress has been made into protecting tuna populations, there are still lots of major management measures missing, which overtime will become harder to implement, Ms Nickson continued.
Effective management could help make improvements. Action specifically needs to look at reducing catch and enforcing a minimum catch size limit. Good management will also require both the eastern and western Pacific to stick to management measures and work together.
Only one scenario showed signs it might work and that involves reducing the catch of juveniles by 50 per cent in the western and central Pacific and setting a hard catch limit for bluefin of 2,750 metric tons (6.1 million pounds) a year in the eastern Pacific. However, even these measures might not lead to a population that would be considered healthy and rebuilt, said Ms Nickson.
Pew Charitable Trusts hopes to see some of these measures being agreed and implemented this year by the member states of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.