Fisheries and aquaculture are confronted with continuing problems such as climate change, growing human populations, low income of small scale fishers and fish farmers, and competitive production and trading conditions. People should be confronting and discussing the challenges in order to come up with solutions on how we can respond; and the community should be resilient and adaptive in combatting the challenges. We cannot immediately solve some problems, such as overfishing, illegal fishing, depletion of marine resources, as they have deep root causes, but we are learning how to address them. Governments do their best to manage fishery resources to meet these challenges. Decision makers and the public also need to continually listen to new information so that they are equipped with knowledge for sustaining marine and aquaculture resources and protecting people who depend on them for nutrition, livelihood and business. Research is an important information gathering tool that contributes to policy and decision-making. The Asian Fisheries Society and its partners are taking a lead in making new information accessible through its platform AsiaPacific-FishWatch providing essential information on fish harvested or farmed for food in Asia-Pacific. I am pleased that AsiaPacific-FishWatch gives attention in its profiles and posts to the critical social, economic and market character of the value chains. The Asian Fisheries Society emphasises equally social and economic knowledge and biological, physical and technical knowledge.

Prof. Alice Joan G. Ferrer, PhD, President, Asian Fisheries Society


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Friday, 22 February 2019 11:20
Written by Super User

GA 010 Alita-cropAsiaPacific-FishWatch's Sustainability pages for 6 Western and Central Pacific and Indian Ocean tuna species – covering 12 stocks – have been updated. By current assessments, the outlooks, tempered by management measures being taken, show:

  • Skipjack tuna: outlook remains unchanged since previous reviews. Compared to our update last year which showed 5 skipjack fisheries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, now 8 fisheries have become certified, including some of the previously certified fisheries achieving re-certification. LINK
  • Yellowfin tuna: The status of both stocks is unchanged with Indian Ocean stocks overfished and overfishing occurring. Although the Western and Central Pacific stock is not overfished, concern is expressed over fishing pressure and bycatch by some fishing gears. The number of certified yellowfin tuna fisheries has risen from 5 last year to 11 presently. LINK
  • Bigeye tuna: Although not yet considered overfished, the latest assessment for the Western and Central Pacific Ocean stock continue to express concern that the stock is in a more depleted state than other stocks in this region, and bycatch is a problem with some gear. No bigeye fishery has been certified, but one combination yellowfin and bigeye tuna longline fishery was certified in late 2018. LINK
  • Albacore tuna: None of the three stocks (Northern Pacific Ocean, Southern Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean) are considered overfished but concern is expressed at the fishing pressure on the Northern Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean stocks. One additional fishery on the Southern Pacific Albacore stock was certified in 2018, bringing the total certified certified fisheries to 9 for all three fish stocks. LINK
  • Longtail tuna: Stock assessments and catch data remain incomplete. Recent Indian Ocean assessments consider the stocks overfished and that overfishing is occurring. This species is within the management mandate of the IOTC but not the WCPFC. LINK
  • Pacific bluefin tuna: This stock is considered overfished and overfishing is occurring. The rebuilding plan will be kept under more constant review from 2019. A slow recovery is underway but the stock is still near an historically low level. LINK

These updates owe a big debt to the stock assessment experts and reviewers associated with regional fisheries management and technical organisations (SPC, WCPFC, IOTC, ISC, IATTC and the national body members of committees) and to the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation for its regularly updated overviews of stock status (see the latest Stock Status Report at:

Victoria Jolland is thanked for pulling together all the information for the 6 species Sustainability and Quick Facts updates.

Photo: Man weighing yellowfin tuna while woman does the recording, General Santos City tuna port. Source: Alita Roxas, Mindanao State University- Iligan Institute of Technology, Philippines and USAID-Oceans project.