Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Kawakawa - Indian Ocean
Marine Resource  Fact Sheet
Stock status report 2021
Kawakawa - Indian Ocean
Fact Sheet Citation  
Kawakawa Indian Ocean
Owned byIndian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) – More
Related observationsLocate in inventorydisplay tree map
FAO Names: en - Kawakawa, fr - Thonine orientale, es - Bacoreta oriental

Fishery Indicators
Production: Catch
Geographic extent of Kawakawa - Indian Ocean
Main Descriptors
Considered a single stock: Yes        Management unit: Yes
Reference year: 2019
Biological State and Trend
State & Trend Descriptors
Exploitation rateNot subject to overfishing (F2019/FMSY (80% CI) = 0.98 (0.85–1.11))Moderate fishing mortality
Abundance levelNot overfished (B2019/BMSY (80% CI) = 1.13 (0.75–1.58))Intermediate 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

No information is available on stock structure of kawakawa 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 4681tonnesAverage 1950 - 1959
Catch 8849tonnesAverage 1960 - 1969
Catch 20306tonnesAverage 1970 - 1979
Catch 42615tonnesAverage 1980 - 1989
Catch 70245tonnesAverage 1990 - 1999
Catch 103466tonnesAverage 2000 - 2009
Catch 149022tonnesAverage 2010 - 2019
Catch 145713tonnes2011
Catch 151465tonnes2012
Catch 159285tonnes2013
Catch 150271tonnes2014
Catch 148272tonnes2015
Catch 151479tonnes2016
Catch 150522tonnes2017
Catch 162163tonnes2018
Catch 148375tonnes2019
Catch 143211tonnes2020

No new stock assessment was conducted for kawakawa in 2021 and so the results are based on the assessment carried out in 2020 using data-limited assessment techniques. The OCOM model indicated that the fishing mortality F was very close to FMSY (F/FMSY=0.98) and the B above BMSY (B/BMSY=1.13). The estimated probability of the stock currently being in green quadrant of the Kobe plot is about 50%. Due to the quality of the data being used, the simple modelling approach employed in 2020, and the large increase in kawakawa catches over the last decade (Fig. 1), measures need to be taken in order to reduce the level of catches which have surpassed the estimated MSY levels for all years since 2011. Based on the weight-of-evidence available, the kawakawa stock for the Indian Ocean is classified as not overfished and not subject to overfishing (Table 1, Fig. 2).
Assessment Model
Type:  Biomass-aggregated
Optimised Catch Only Method (OCOM)
Assessment Model
Type:  Age-structured
Stock Synthesis III (SS3)
Scientific Advice

The assessment models rely on catch data, which are considered to be highly uncertain. The catch in 2019 was equal to the estimated MSY. The available gillnet CPUE of kawakawa showed a somewhat increasing trend although the reliability of the index as abundance indices remains unknown. Despite the substantial uncertainties, the stock is probably very close to being fished at MSY levels and that higher catches may not be sustained in the longer term. A precautionary approach to management is recommended.
Management unit: Yes
Source of information
IOTC–SC23 2020. Report of the 23rd Session of the IOTC Scientific Committee. Seychelles, 7 – 11 December 2020. IOTC–2020–SC23–R[E]: 211pp.  Click to open
All references to figures, tables and bibliography in the text are found within the source of information.
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