Southern bluefin tuna farmed by

Many tuna stocks around the world are recognised as being over-fished and poorly managed, and the Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) charged with the mangement of the fisheries and the distribution of tuna throughout the world are struggling to do their job effectively. The RFMO in charge of Southern bluefin tuna is known as the Commission for the Conservation of Southern bluefin tuna (CCSBT) and they are one of the few success stories.

The CCSBT was originally a tripartite agreement between the nations of Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Now the organization has the Republic of Korea and Taiwan as full members, as well as the Philippines, South Africa and the European Community listed as collaborating non-members (a status seen as a stepping stone to full membership). Indonesia is expected to soon become a collaborating non-member as well. The CCSBT regulates the numbers of Southern bluefin caught each year by allocating quotas to member nations. These quotas are regularly reviewed and revised by the commission and it could be said that the CCSBT is the most effective tuna RFMO in the world. To learn more about the CCSBT click on their logo.

The Australian Southern bluefin tuna fishery as part of the CCSBT uses underwater video cameras to record and count every individual fish that was caught in the Great Australian Bight and transfered into pens in the waters of the Spenser Gulf. This process, and the numbers of fish allocated to each ranch according to quota, is monitored by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA). Compared to other tuna fisheries that often land and distribute Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) tuna, the Australian Southern bluefin fishery, with fish numbers increasing each year in the Bight, could be said to be one of the most sustainable tuna fisheries in the world.