Status of the World Fisheries for Tuna / by Francisco Blaha

The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, publishes its status of the World fisheries for Tuna and does regular updates.

It tracks 23 stocks of the major commercial tuna species worldwide (6 albacore, 4 bigeye, 4 bluefin, 5 skipjack and 4 yellowfin stocks), and summarizes the results of the most recent scientific as-sessments of these stocks, as well as the current management measures adopted by the RFMOs. In addition, it ranks the status and management of the 23 stocks using a consistent methodology in terms of three factors: Abundance, Exploitation/Management (fishing mortality) and Environmental Impact (bycatch).

They are in a interesting position and get a lot of slack because to 80% of the world’s tinned tuna brands have formed it, with the proclaimed mission of which is to ‘undertake science-based initiatives for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of tuna stocks, reducing bycatch and promoting ecosystem health.’ I guess is up each person's believes to deal with the facts around if a organisation made by fishing companies, can be trusted in the information they provide, even if  the reports are really well referenced from the RFMOs documentations.

Personally, I always believe that if industry is part of the problem, they have to be part of the solution. Hence I welcome their existence, and personally appreciate some of their staff and members. I find the reports quite good, albeit personally I would present some of the graphs and language in a less "massaged" way.

Said so, I really like their "visual approach" to data presentation, for example: their "Colour Ratings Decision Table" as way to present their ranking system.

The latest update (Feb 2015) shows for the Pacific the following picture: 

Where BET is Big Eye, YFT is Yellow Fin, SKJ is Skipjack, ALB is Albacore and PBF is Pacific Bluefin

As you see is a mix picture, but in my opinion is shows firstly the species and elements that need more attention and oversight, and the those where lessons learns in terms of management and compliance can be used.

I'm not saying that things are good (or are going to be good), but that for moving in the right direction we need information, and here is one that helps.