Promoting sustainable tuna fisheries in the Coral Triangle

Tuna feeds millions of people, sustains economies, and is an essential ecological link in the marine food web. But in the Coral Triangle, there are real concerns these benefits could be lost.

So what do we do to address this problem?
 / ©: WWF
WWF
© WWF

What's New?

WWF was at the 9th Regular Session of the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), Manila, Philippines – 2-6 Dec 2012

Major Fishing Companies Getting Behind Sustainable Tuna

Several companies have pledged to support the conservation and sustainable management of tuna in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific.

Find out who they are
► Also check out our 2012 report on the threats facing the South West Pacific Longline caught Albacore tuna
The Coral Triangle is a tuna spawning ground—the nursery of the seas—also providing nursery grounds and migratory routes for southern bluefin, bigeye, yellowfin, skipjack and albacore tunas from the Indian, Southern and Pacific oceans, where most of the world's tuna catch occurs.

Irreplaceable resource

Caught, traded, shipped and eaten around the world, tuna is an irreplaceable resource for developed and developing countries globally. Between 1950 and 2006, about 27.5 million tonnes of tuna were caught by fishing fleets operating in Coral Triangle countries.

In addition, an abundance of small tuna species such as frigate, bullet and the bonito provide vital sustenance to millions of people in the Coral Triangle, while they also serve as prey for the larger tuna.

Tuna taken out of the sea faster than stocks can support

The fishing industry is scrambling to supply growing international demand for tuna. This puts more pressure on heavily-fished stocks, such as yellowfin tuna in the Western and Central and Indian oceans as fleets move in from depleted fishing areas.

If the current level of fishing continues or increases, these stocks will collapse. The result? Loss of revenue and reduced food security in some parts of the world.

Current management of tuna fisheries is not working

International laws and standards support sustainable fisheries management, and are applicable to tuna regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) and their member states.

But in reality, tuna RFMOs have been unable to prevent overexploitation of tuna, rebuild depleted stocks, or protect the wider ecosystem.
 / ©: WWF
Key facts & figures regarding seafood in the Coral Triangle
© WWF

See how tuna is being managed in other parts of the world

What WWF is doing

We are collaborating with industry to transform tuna fishing and:
  • Develop a system that raises funds from global tuna trade and supports tuna management in Coral Triangle countries
  • Establish ecosystem-based fisheries management that delivers equitable benefits to island communities
  • Reduce illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing by excluding it from supply chains
  • Implement incentives for sustainable fishing practices, such as MSC certification
  • Engage consumers on the importance of tuna fisheries and enable them to make sustainable seafood choices

Tuna Think Tank

In late August 2010, WWF and thought leaders from several disciplines convened to find new ideas for the future of tuna management. Read more here
© WWF
 / ©: Restaurant Bobby Chinn
Bobby Chinn and WWF are working together to promote sustainable seafood in the Coral Triangle region.
© Restaurant Bobby Chinn

FOLLOW JOSE INGLES' EFFORTS TO SAVE THE TUNA

How you can help

    • If you eat tuna, check out WWF's sustainable seafood guides to make sure you are making food choices that help save tuna
    • You're in the tuna industry? Let's talk about ways to help you improve your sustainability practices.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required