Multiple lines of evidence highlight the dire straits of yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean.

Kristina N. Heidrich, Jessica J. Meeuwig, Maria José Juan-Jordá, Maria L.D. Palomares, Daniel Pauly, Christopher D.H. Thompson, Alan M. Friedlander, Enric Sala, Dirk Zeller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) are highly valued pelagic fisheries target species. Regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) are the principal mechanism that manage yellowfin tuna fisheries. Determining changes in population abundances is crucial for effective conservation and management. We use multiple methods for monitoring biomass trends and evaluating the status of yellowfin tuna in each ocean basin and show how additional, multiple lines of evidence can enhance our understanding of the conservation and exploitation status of this species. Our analysis of regional biomass trajectories and Catch-MSY++ assessments corroborate the findings of the most recent RFMO stock assessments suggesting yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean are in critical condition, while the Eastern Pacific yellowfin tuna population shows the lowest levels of exploitation. These results are supported by fisheries-independent data from baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS), showing that the Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna population is the least common, least abundant, and smallest across all oceans. Our findings support previous claims of systematic and widespread overfishing of yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean and thus confirm calls to reduce current fishing levels to ensure the long-term viability of the species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106902
JournalOcean and Coastal Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


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