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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  • 2016 Our Ocean Conference

    Secretary of State John Kerry will host the third annual Our Ocean conference in Washington from Sept. 15 and 16. Global leaders, scientists, entrepreneurs, innovators, and representatives from nongovernmental organizations will discuss the major challenges facing the world’s oceans and how to address them. Read More

  • Decision-Makers Again Fail Pacific Bluefin Tuna

    Despite the dire state of the Pacific bluefin tuna population, the countries tasked with managing its future have failed once again to act to end overfishing or to ensure the recovery of the heavily depleted species. The latest meeting of the Northern Committee of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) ended Sept. 2 without agreement on basic measures to protect Pacific... Read More

  • Harvest Strategies: Reference Points

    Fisheries managers are responsible for ensuring the health of both fisheries and fish populations. How is health defined, and how can success be measured? Through biological reference points, such as the biomass needed to provide maximum sustainable yield (BMSY). Scientists have used reference points for over 50 years to evaluate stock status and now are applying them more broadly; in fact,... Read More

Media Contact

Laura Margison