Global Tuna Conservation

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Working to improve international agreements to protect bluefin tuna and to take effective action in work for global tuna conservation.

Ranging far and wide across the oceans, tuna are found throughout the world, generally in tropical and temperate waters. Not only are these fish commercially important—they are also critical to the well-being of our oceans and the millions of people who depend on the greater marine ecosystem for food and economic stability.

Unfortunately, many populations are  in decline —making the need for sustainable global tuna fisheries clearer than ever before.

The huge demand for tuna—as a popular ingredient in sushi and tuna steaks, and as mass produced, affordable canned fish across much of Europe, Asia, and the United States—has resulted in overfishing and mismanagement of many tuna species. Destructive fishing practices endanger not only the health of fish stocks, but also the livelihoods of approximately 450 million people—and the food security of some three billion people.

Pew is working to improve the international management of tuna species by

  • promoting science-based catch limits that do not allow overfishing;
  • minimizing the impacts of destructive fishing gears;
  • eliminating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing;
  • increasing the transparency and accountability of tuna regional fisheries management organizations.

Read more about Pew's Pacific tuna work.

Read more about Pew's bluefin tuna work in the Gulf of Mexico.


Estimating the Use of FADs

Updated analysis of the number of devices deployed in the ocean.

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Our Work

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  • U.S. Moves to Reverse Protections for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

    In a disappointing turn of events for a severely depleted stock, fishery managers have taken an initial step to eliminate proven protections for western Atlantic bluefin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico. The new proposal could abolish conservation-minded requirements governing fishing gear and closure areas during peak spawning periods.  Read More

  • Global Transshipment

    Transshipment, the transfer of fish or other marine wildlife between a fishing vessel and a carrier vessel at sea or in port, is an important part of the global commercial fishing industry. Valuable tuna species, mackerel, and crabs are among the freshly caught seafood transshipped each day in order to shorten the time it takes to get the fish from the sea to the store.  Read More

  • Transshipment Reform Needed to Ensure Legal, Verifiable Transfer of Catch

    The transshipment of catch is a vital but largely hidden part of the global commercial fishing industry. Hundreds of refrigerated cargo vessels, or fish “carriers,” roam the oceans, transferring fresh catch from thousands of fishing vessels and taking it to shore for processing. Read More

Media Contact

Leah Weiser

Officer, Communications