Welcome to the Council's new website!

Learn more about the site

Pacific-wide catch of highly migratory species

The data used in the graphs and summaries below use Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) public domain data, Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) Tuna Fishery Yearbook annual catch estimates, and International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC) annual catch tables.

Eastern Pacific Ocean Landings (IATTC Data): 2009 – 2018

Landings by Country

The plot below shows average annual landings by country for all species recorded in IATTC data.

Average annual landings in metric tons by country in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The Other category includes French Polynesia, Chile, Vanuatu, Canada, Belize, Guatemala, each of which has landings less than 1% of the total, and others not specified in the source data.

Landings by Species

During 2009-2018 Albacore accounted for 6.0% of total landings, Bigeye tuna for 14.8%, Skipjack tuna for 42.3%, and Yellowfin tuna for 36.9%.

Annual landings of albacore, bigeye, skipjack, and yellowfin tunas in metric tons, 2009-2018.

Landings by Gear

Average annual landings, 2009-2018 of tunas in the Eastern Pacific Ocean by gear type.

The Other category includes Recreational , Pole-and-line, Gillnet, Harpoon and others not specified in the source data.

Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC Data): 2009 – 2018

Landings by Country

Average annual landings, metric ton, 2009-2018 by country in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.

PNG: Papua New Guinea, FSM: Federated States of Micronesia; the Other category includes New Zealand, Fiji, Ecuador, Tuvalu, El Salvador, French Polynesia, Australia, Cook Islands, New Caledonia, Samoa, Palau, Tonga, Eastern Pacific Us Purse Seine Fleet, Belize, Tokelau, Niue, Canada, Senegal, each of which has landings less than 1% of the total.

Landings by Species

During the 2009- 2018 period, Albacore accounted for 4.7% of total landings, Bigeye tuna accounted for 5.7%, Skipjack tuna accounted for 67.0%, and Yellowfin tuna accounted for 22.7%.

Landings of albacore, bigeye, skipjack, and yellowfin tunas in metric tons, 2009-2018 in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.

Landings by Gear

Average annual landings of tunas in metric tons, 2009-2018, by gear type in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.

*Small-scale hook-and-line (Philippines and Indonesia). The Other category from source data.

North Pacific (ISC Data): 2009 – 2018

The ISC provides member country catch data for the species it assesses. Of these, landings of North Pacific albacore, Pacific bluefin tuna, and swordfish are summarized here. (The other assessed species are blue and short-fin mako sharks, and striped and blue marlins.). ISC catch table data provided in a suitable format for processing by the ISC Data Manager, Kiara Nishikawa.

Landings by Country

Japan accounts for the largest proportion of these three species landings, 66%, averaging 61,654 metric tons annually during the 2009-2018 period. U.S.landings averaged 14,550 metric tons or 16% of total landings.

Average annual landings of albacore, Pacific bluefin and swordfish, metric tons 2009-2018, by country in the North Pacific Ocean.

Landings by Species

As depicted below, landings of albacore, Pacific bluefin, and swordfish have declined over this 10-year period. Albacore landings were lowest in 2018 at 49,318 mt, Pacific bluefin landings were lowest in 2018 at 10,148 mt, and swordfish landings were lowest in 2016 at 10,623 mt. The decline in Pacific bluefin landings may be partially attributable to the implemention of catch limits in the WCPFC Northern Committee’s stock rebuilding plan.

Landings of albacore, Pacific bluefin, and swordfish, metric tons 2009-2018 in the North Pacific Ocean.

Albacore Landings by Gear Type

The gear types depicted below are the three top ranked in terms of landings and accounted for 95% of total albacore landings.

Landings of albacore, metric tons, 2009-2018 by longline, pole-and-line, and troll gears in the North Pacific Ocean.

Pacific Bluefin Tuna Landings by Gear Type

The gear types depicted below are the three top ranked in terms of landings and accounted for 87% of total Pacific bluefin landings. Setnet landings increased markedly in 2017 but fell dramatically in 2018. Setnet is a passive gear so this may reflect increasing stock abundance and a subsequent management response to limit catch.

Landings of Pacific bluefin, metric tons, 2009-2018 by longline, purse seine and set-net gears in the North Pacific Ocean.

Swordfish Landings by Gear Type

The gear types depicted below are the three top ranked in terms of landings and accounted for 97% of total swordfish landings.

Landings of albacore, metric tons, 2009-2018 by gillnet, longline, and unspecified gears in the North Pacific Ocean.