Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Yellowfin tuna - Indian Ocean
Marine Resource  Fact Sheet
Stock status report 2020
Yellowfin tuna - Indian Ocean
Fact Sheet Citation  
Yellowfin tuna Indian Ocean
Owned byIndian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) – More
Related observationsLocate in inventorydisplay tree map
FAO Names: en - Yellowfin tuna, fr - Albacore, es - Rabil, ru - Тунец желтоперый

Fishery Indicators
Production: Catch
Geographic extent of Yellowfin tuna - Indian Ocean
Main Descriptors
Considered a single stock: Yes        Management unit: Yes
Reference year: 2017
Biological State and Trend
State & Trend Descriptors
Exploitation rateSubject to overfishing (F2017/FMSY (plausible range) = 1.20 (1.00–1.71))High fishing mortality
Abundance levelOverfished (SB2017/SBMSY (plausible range) = 0.83 (0.74–0.97))Low 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

The tag recoveries of the RTTP-IO [Regional Tuna Tagging Project-Indian Ocean] provide evidence of large movements of yellowfin tuna, thus supporting the assumption of a single stock for the Indian Ocean.
Fishery Indicators
TypeMeasureValueUnitTime period
ProductionCatch 27548tonnesAverage 1950 - 1959
Catch 51704tonnesAverage 1960 - 1969
Catch 53344tonnesAverage 1970 - 1979
Catch 127986tonnesAverage 1980 - 1989
Catch 333379tonnesAverage 1990 - 1999
Catch 395540tonnesAverage 2000 - 2009
Catch 400063tonnesAverage 2010 - 2019
Catch 335928tonnes2011
Catch 399646tonnes2012
Catch 400885tonnes2013
Catch 405972tonnes2014
Catch 402828tonnes2015
Catch 427619tonnes2016
Catch 421818tonnes2017
Catch 442140tonnes2018
Catch 448643tonnes2019
Catch 430029tonnes2020

No new stock assessment was carried out for yellowfin tuna in 2020, thus, stock status is determined on the basis of the 2018 assessment and other information presented in 2020. In 2018 a new stock assessment was carried out for yellowfin tuna in the IOTC area of competence to update the stock status undertaken in 2016. On the weight-of-evidence available in 2018, the yellowfin tuna stock is determined to remain overfished and subject to overfishing.
Assessment Model
Type:  Age-structured
Stock Synthesis III (SS3)
Scientific Advice

The decline in stock status to below MSY level is not well understood due to various uncertainties. As a precautionary measure, the Commission should ensure that catches are reduced to end overfishing and allow the SSB to recover to SSBMSY levels. At this stage, specific catch limits are not provided.
Management unit: Yes
Source of information
IOTC. 2020. Yellowfin tuna. Executive Summary.  Click to open
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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