Where is the tuna?


In June 2021, the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) agreed an interim rebuilding plan for overfished yellowfin tuna, setting a catch limit of 401,011mt.

However, seven countries formally objected, putting the rebuilding plan at serious risk of failure. Many of these objecting countries now have no yellowfin catch limits!

Even worse, in December 2021, the IOTC Scientific Committee recalculated the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) as 349,000t – significantly below the rebuilding plan catch limit.

The scientific advice also revealed that if the 2020 catch levels are reduced by 30% there is a more than 67% probability of rebuilding the stock by 2030. This equates to a yellowfin catch below 302,837t.

Given the consistent overfishing and overfished status of the Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna stock since 2015, the Global Tuna Alliance and their market partners, are calling for the IOTC to:

  1. Agree a 30% cut in catch relative to 2020 levels to stop yellowfin overfishing and begin to rebuild the stock;
  2. Revise the IOTC Treaty to prevent spurious use of objections.

The issue of yellowfin tuna needs to be taken seriously. The market can no longer wait patiently for the IOTC to act responsibly; they are now setting deadlines with clear consequences of inaction and/or irresponsible decision-making.

No one wants the stock to crash – rebuild yellowfin tuna

We use third-party cookies to personalise content and analyse site traffic.

Learn more