The Eastern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna: Fast Crash and Swift Recovery for the Ferrari of the Ocean?

Type/nr A07/16
Skrevet av Eleonore Lazat and Trond Bjørndal


The Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Bluefin tuna tastes delicious. Naturally, the Japanese sashimi market fights over this high value fish. Unfortunately, this moneymaking resource has been overfished since the 1970s due to its’ wide geographical spread and high sea open access characteristic, which means over 25 countries sought to capture it. This cumulated in near extinction of the species in the mid-2000s. The organisation in charge of managing the stock, the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT), established a fifteen-year species recovery plan starting in 2006-2007. The plan includes fishing seasons, gear restrictions, quantity control and strict monitoring of vessels. Ten years into the programme, this project sets out to assess the state of the stock. Quantitative indicators will enable assessing the health of the stock, and qualitative methods will evaluate the managerial success of the recovery programme, in terms of member compliance and caution adopted with regard to the stock. Results of the research show the stock is en-route to recovery. Population indicators are recovering faster than expected. Recommendations, such as educational courses on stock sustainability for fishermen or knowledge-access incentives to comply, will hopefully reach the ICCAT to adapt the programme for the remaining five years.

Språk Skrevet på engelsk