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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  • More Tuna Isn’t Always Better

    Today, when fishing nations negotiate catch quotas for Atlantic and Pacific bluefin tuna, they generally assume that more fishing is always better for the industry. However, a new study underscores what producers of other commodities, such as corn or oil, already know: Increased global supply can mean less revenue. In this case, those who fish for these valuable bluefin species would make less... Read More

  • New Agreement Offers Brighter Future for Pacific Bluefin Tuna

    The Pacific bluefin tuna is among the most depleted species on the planet, having been fished down more than 97 percent from its historic, unfished size. For years, this prized fish has been in dire need of strong policies that would reverse that decline, but the two organizations responsible for its management—the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and the... Read More

  • Urgent Need for Cooperation to Help Severely Depleted Pacific Bluefin Tuna

    The fate of Pacific bluefin tuna is hanging in the balance. After decades of overfishing and mismanagement, the population of this iconic species has been depleted by more than 97 percent from its historic high. Yet international fisheries managers have failed year after year to agree to a plan to help Pacific bluefin recover to healthy levels. Read More

Media Contact

Leah Weiser

Officer, Communications