National Oceanic Resource Management Authority

Health of the Fishery

Assessment of Sustainability of the Four Major Tuna Species

Taken together – our Vessel Monitoring System and FIMS (Fisheries Information Management System), the Observer ProgramElectronic Monitoring, the Vessel Day System and Catch Documentation Scheme – NORMA continues to work with its partners to maintain a healthy fishery. According to scientists at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), all four major tuna stocks are not overfished or depleted; and the current spawning stock is estimated to be large enough to sustain present fishing levels into the future. The Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) is the only ocean area where all four major stocks are “in the green”.

Fish stock in the different ocean. sourced from PNA Yearbook 2019
Source: PNA Yearbook 2019

Current Status of the Stocks

To summarize the most recent stock assessments (2017-2019) for the four target tuna stocks (Bigeye, Yellowfin, Skipjack and Albacore), stock status for all four species are plotted together on a single Majuro plot2, as shown in Figure 4. All four are considered to be in a healthy, sustainable status and none overfished. Yellowfin, skipjack and albacore are estimated to have a 0% probability of currently experiencing overfishing (as shown in the green quadrant), while bigeye was estimated to have a 12.5% probability (as shown in the orange quadrant).

Fisheries that exploit the region’s resources of tuna, billfish and related species are managed for economic and ecological sustainability using the best available scientific information, with a strong focus on stock assessment and modelling, fisheries and ecosystem monitoring and analysis and data management. In 2017, the assessment was revised such that the bigeye stock was now estimated to be healthy, in contrast to earlier assessment that estimated it to be overfished and suffering from overfishing, a significant development for the region’s fisheries stakeholders.

Assessment of Stocks is referred to as the Majuro Plot because this was a new model of projecting the health and growth curve of target tuna species at the WCPFC Science Committee meeting in Majuro in 2014. The graph plots the relationship between stock biomass (X-axis) and the level of fishing pressure (Y-axis).

National Oceanic Resource Management Authority
PO Box PS 122
Pohnpei, FM 96941
Federated States of Micronesia
Telephone: (691) 320-2700/5181
Fax: (691) 320-2383
FSM Government Seal
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