Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Bullet tuna - Indian Ocean
Marine Resource  Fact Sheet
Stock status report 2018
Bullet tuna - Indian Ocean
Fact Sheet Citation  
Bullet tuna Indian Ocean
Owned byIndian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) – More
Related observationsLocate in inventorydisplay tree map
FAO Names: en - Bullet tuna, fr - Bonitou, es - Melva(=Melvera)

Fishery Indicators
Production: Catch
Geographic extent of Bullet tuna - Indian Ocean
Main Descriptors
Considered a single stock: Yes        Management unit: Yes
Reference year: 2014
Biological State and Trend
State & Trend Descriptors
Exploitation rateNot assessed/Uncertain (F2014/FMSY (80% CI) = unknown)Uncertain/Not assessed
Abundance levelNot assessed/Uncertain (B2014/BMSY (80% CI) = unknown)Uncertain/Not assessed
Habitat and Biology
Climatic zone: Temperate; Tropical.   Horizontal distribution: Oceanic.   Vertical distribution: Pelagic.  

Geographical Distribution
Jurisdictional distribution: Highly migratory

Water Area Overview
Geo References
Resource Structure
Considered a single stock: Yes

No information is available on the stock structure in Indian Ocean. The IOTC coordinated Stock Structure Project, which commenced in early-2015, aims to supplement gaps in the existing knowledge on biological data, and in particular provide an insight on whether neritic tuna and tuna like species should be considered as a single Indian Ocean stock.
Fishery Indicators
TypeMeasureValueUnitTime period
ProductionCatch 159tonnesAverage 1950 - 1959
Catch 360tonnesAverage 1960 - 1969
Catch 693tonnesAverage 1970 - 1979
Catch 1444tonnesAverage 1980 - 1989
Catch 3309tonnesAverage 1990 - 1999
Catch 4907tonnesAverage 2000 - 2009
Catch 6640tonnes2008
Catch 7847tonnes2009
Catch 10370tonnes2010
Catch 8394tonnes2011
Catch 8969tonnes2012
Catch 8934tonnes2013
Catch 8419tonnes2014
Catch 10742tonnes2015
Catch 11574tonnes2016
Catch 11554tonnes2017

No quantitative stock assessment is currently available for bullet tuna in the Indian Ocean, and due to a lack of fishery data for several gears, only preliminary stock status indicators can be used. Aspects of the fisheries for bullet tuna combined with the lack of data on which to base a more formal assessment, are a cause for considerable concern.
Scientific Advice

A precautionary approach to the management of bullet tuna should be considered by the Commission, by ensuring that future catches do not exceed current catches (average 2010-2014). The stock should be closely monitored. Mechanisms need to be developed by the Commission to improve current statistics by encouraging CPCs [Contracting parties and cooperating non-contracting parties] to comply with their recording and reporting requirements, so as to better inform scientific advice.
Management unit: Yes
Source of information
IOTC–SC21 2018. Report of the 21st Session of the IOTC Scientific Committee. Seychelles, 3 – 7 December 2018. IOTC–2018–SC21–R[E]: 250 pp.  Click to open
All references to figures, tables and bibliography in the text are found within the source of information.
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