Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna: The Highs and Lows of Recruitment

The severely depleted population of western Atlantic bluefin tuna is targeted by recreational and commercial fisherman in Canada, the United States,and elsewhere. Still at only 36 percent of 1970s level, there is a critical need to ensure that all management decisions are based on sound science that will result in strong and sustained growth, allowing the species to recover. As stakeholders prepare to meet in Montreal, Canada to discuss the science informing bluefin tuna management in the western Atlantic, leading scientists explain the concept of "recruitment," or the productivity of the western Atlantic bluefin population, and how incorporating concepts of "high recruitment" or "low recruitment" into stock assessments may impact the recovery of this highly valuable and vulnerable fish.