The reality is that fisheries management decisions continue to be based predominantly on the short-term economic bottom line—the amount of value gained or lost by fishing on any given day. That must change.

Fishery managers should enact policies that at a minimum restore depleted stocks to healthy levels, which should include setting science-based catch limits and developing systems of pre-agreed management actions that would be triggered when stocks fall below certain levels.

With a conservative annual value over $40 billion, tuna fisheries represent a significant component of the global economy. Improved management of these fisheries and conservation of tuna stocks are critical to sustaining the health and well-being of marine ecosystems, as well as the industries and coastal peoples who rely on the life in these waters for income and food.