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Pacific Bluefin Tuna Working Group

General Information

The Pacific Bluefin Tuna Working Group (PBFWG) was established since the foundation of ISC. First formal stock assessment was conducted in May 2008. The working group is focusing the preparation of the most recent full stock assessment was completed in 2012. In late 2013 by the collaboration of Albacore WG, PBF WG scheduled to hold a workshop for age and growth of tunas in the north Pacific, targetting north Pacifc albacore and Pacific bluefin tuna.

Pacific Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus orientalis) --- North Pacific

◊ Biological Profile

This species is widely distributed in the North Pacific Ocean and occured in the Southern Hemisphere with limited amounts. The juveniles have trans-Pacific migration analyzed by archival tags. Migration after spawning to the Southern Hemisphere has been also reported by pop-up tags.

  • Spawning area and season:
    North Western Pacific Ocean,
    May to June, and late June to August
  • Life span : More than 20 years
  • Start of maturity : About age-3 (100cm)
Distribution and spawning area
of Pacific bluefin tuna.

◊ Fisheries for Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the North Pacific Ocean

Historical catch has been fluctuated in the range of 9,000~40,000t. Catch in 2009 was 20,000t (recent 5years average: 23,000t, historical average : 23,000t). Japan usually catches more than half of total catch, while until 1980s US also caught substantial amount. After 2000, Mexico and Korea increased their catch. By gear category purse seine catch always occupies more than half of total catch.
Main fisheries landing Pacific bluefin tuna by fishing gear and country.
pbf_gear_list - Click to zoom up
Annual landings of Pacific bluefin tuna from ISC members
in the North Pacific Ocean,1952-2011.

◊ Stock Status and Conservation Information

Click here to see the latest information.

Latest Stock Assessment

Click here to see the information.

Working Group Reports and Working Papers

Working Group Vice Chair
Shuya Nakatsuka