Tunas are among the most commercially valuable fish on the planet and support small-scale and industrial fishing alike. Globally, fishers gather around 8 million metric tons annually at a dockside value of $43 billion. Tuna fisheries support people across the globe not only by enriching coastal communities with jobs, but also by providing an affordable source of protein and nutrients. However, this source of prosperity and security for so many coastal communities is at risk as many of the world’s valuable tuna species face serious threats.
The sustainability of tuna fisheries is a concern, driven by the urgency to address overfishing, and illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices and ecosystem impacts. The conservation and management of tuna has not evolved to keep pace with increased capacity in tuna fisheries over the years, including larger, faster vessels that can operate further offshore for longer periods of time. The time to scale up tuna sustainability efforts is now.