Pew's Global Tuna campaign focuses on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
The Atlantic is home to, among other species, the mighty Atlantic bluefin tuna. But years of overfishing, illegal fishing, and fraud have driven these fish to historically low levels.
In the Pacific, where about 65 percent of the world's tuna are caught, lax management threatens populations of Pacific bluefin, bigeye, yellowfin, and skipjack tuna—as well as their ecosystem, and the fishermen who depend on them.
Tuna stocks are fished by dozens of countries, with a significant amount of tuna coming from the high seas, areas that start 200 miles from shore and cover approximately half of the Earth. Their management is largely overseen by Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs)—international bodies made up largely of countries that seek to manage fisheries for certain species in specific geographic areas.
There are five tuna RFMOS: The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT), the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
Collectively, these organizations manage tuna fisheries across 91 percent of the world's ocean surface—they are also responsible for managing the impact of these fisheries on tuna as well as other species. That's more than 325 million square kilometers. The Pew Environment Group engages at a number of RFMOs to improve tuna management in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Our work is grounded in the best available science and the belief that the existence of healthy tuna populations is not only possible, but imperative.