National Action

Toward Sustainable Tuna Management in The Asia-Pacific

Background

Tuna and tuna-like species are considered to be highly migratory fish stocks and for much of recorded history, man has been fishing tuna since old ages for a living. In the past, these activities were still coastal and seasonal. However, at the dawn of the 20th century, tuna fishing began to rise in response to the high global demand for canned tuna. After 1952, it escalated rapidly in countries around the world extending fishing ground across the oceans, including the Pasific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

The exploitation of tuna among various countries has made a significant contribution to the global economic growth representing approximately 8% of total fish export value in 2012. Japan, the USA, and European Union are the three leading world markets for tuna, especially for Sashimi and canned tuna. In 2011, the total catch of tuna and tuna-like species reached 6.8 million tonnes worldwide with the principal marketable tuna species- albacore, bigeye, bluefin, skipjack and yellowfin- contributing 4.5 million tonnes, and maintaining approximately the same level since 2003. In addition to that, SOFIA (2014) states that roughly 68 percent of these catches were from the Pacific water.