A stock assessment is periodically performed individually on the Atlantic bluefin, yellowfin, bigeye and albacore tuna fisheries. Atlantic bluefin tuna is assessed every two years and the other 3 species, every 5 years. Stock assessments are performed by the Standing Committee on Research and Statistics (SCRS), the scientific arm of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). Each species' stock assessment working group is comprised of renowned marine scientists from several countries who are distinguished experts in the species under study. The SCRS stock assessments are considered to be “the best available science” and their recommendations to ICCAT regarding appropriate harvesting levels are used by ICCAT to set fishing quotas and other fishery management policies.
Links to all the latest stock assessments for ABTA's species can be found on the "Links" page under the "Resources" pull-down menu at the top of this page.
ABTA affirms that scientific research must be a core activity for any fisherman organization intent upon ensuring resource conservation and in order to maintain sustainable practices. ABTA engages marine fishery scientists to attend important ICCAT stock assessment working group meetings and data preparation meetings. ABTA also sponsors scientific research on bluefin using electronic popup and archival tags and also sponsors research and data collection involving otolith microchemistry in order to learn more about bluefin population dynamics, foraging and migratory patterns.
In the 1990’s, several ABTA members worked with independent marine scientists on an aerial survey project and another project that utilized anti-submarine warfare technology to count fish using satellite and radar technology. These are but two examples of ABTA's commitment to science. ABTA is dedicated to remaining current regarding marine scientific research on the highly migratory species in which it is involved and undertakes to convey important scientific findings to the fishermen it represents.
Photo courtesy: TheAnimalDay.org