Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Swordfish - Indian Ocean
Marine Resource  Fact Sheet
Stock status report 2018
Swordfish - Indian Ocean
Fact Sheet Citation  
Swordfish Indian Ocean
Owned byIndian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) – More
Related observationsLocate in inventorydisplay tree map
FAO Names: en - Swordfish, fr - Espadon, es - Pez espada, ru - Меч-рыба

Fishery Indicators
Production: Catch
Geographic extent of Swordfish - Indian Ocean
Main Descriptors
Considered a single stock: Yes        Management unit: Yes
Reference year: 2015
Biological State and Trend
State & Trend Descriptors
Exploitation rateNot subject to overfishing (F2015/FMSY (80% CI) = 0.76 (0.41–1.04))No or low fishing mortality
Abundance levelNot overfished (SB2015/SBMSY (80% CI) = 1.50 (1.05–2.45))Pre-exploitation biomass or high abundance
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

A recent genetic study did not reveal any structure within the Indian Ocean with the markers used, however the hypothesis of a population structuring at the regional level cannot be discarded and needs to be investigated using different markers or approaches. Results obtained from the markers used may simply be a matter of the resolving power of the markers used, which may simply have been insufficient for detecting population subdivision. Spatial heterogeneity in stock indicators (catch–per–unit–effort trends) indicates the potential for localised depletion of swordfish in the Indian Ocean.
Fishery Indicators
TypeMeasureValueUnitTime period
ProductionCatch 297tonnesAverage 1950 - 1959
Catch 1340tonnesAverage 1960 - 1969
Catch 2106tonnesAverage 1970 - 1979
Catch 5130tonnesAverage 1980 - 1989
Catch 26521tonnesAverage 1990 - 1999
Catch 32640tonnesAverage 2000 - 2009
Catch 24427tonnes2008
Catch 24466tonnes2009
Catch 24483tonnes2010
Catch 21872tonnes2011
Catch 27474tonnes2012
Catch 30783tonnes2013
Catch 27963tonnes2014
Catch 32056tonnes2015
Catch 31433tonnes2016
Catch 34844tonnes2017

No new stock assessment was carried out for swordfish in 2018, thus, the stock status is determined on the basis of the 2017 assessment and other indicators presented in 2018. On the weight-of-evidence available in 2018, the stock is determined to be not overfished and not subject to overfishing.
Assessment Model
Type:  Age-structured
Stock Synthesis III (SS3)
Scientific Advice

The most recent catches (34,782 t in 2017) are higher than the MSY level (31,590 t). The catches should be reduced to the MSY level (31,590 t).
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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