Size monitoring program

Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF) and Western Tuna and Billfish Fishery (WTBF) Size Monitoring Program

Project Details

  • Funded by: Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) research program

  • Project dates: July 2020–October 2022

  • Partner: AFMA and CSIRO

  • Project leader: Phil Ravanello, Program Manager

  • Location: East and west coasts of Australia

The Tuna and Billfish Size Monitoring Program was first established in 1997 to collect individual fish size data for a representative sample of the ETBF and WTBF catch of tunas and billfish. In 2019, Tuna Australia was awarded the contract to continue this important work.

Tuna Australia works with all major tuna processors to ensure the timely and accurate collection of this data and works to stringent indicators to ensure the quality and validity of inputs into stock assessment modelling.

The program underpins several key processes in the science and management of quota and byproduct species for both fisheries, namely:

  • the development and implementation of the ETBF Harvest Strategy for Broadbill Swordfish and Striped Marlin, used in providing advice on total allowable catch (TAC) to the AFMA Commission
  • the development of size-based catch per unit effort indices for tropical tuna target species (Yellowfin Tuna, Bigeye Tuna and Albacore Tuna) used in providing advice on TAC settings to the AFMA Commission.
  • the provision of size data to scientists at the Pacific Community (SPC) and to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission for use in regional tuna and billfish stock assessments, which are critical to monitoring stock health and the associated development of regional Conservation and Management Measures and the development and implementation of WCPFC Harvest Strategies.
  • the collection of size data for other byproduct species, used in Ecological Risk Assessment and other processes.
  • the continued collection of fish size data in the WTBF to support the current and future monitoring and management of that fishery.

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