Most of the countries depend on tuna fish for food safety and nutrition, economic growth, employment, and livelihoods as it is used in many countries around the world.
The Philippines is the world’s third largest tuna producer, with almost half of its seafood exports come from yellowfin, skipjack, and frigate tuna which produces appetizing products such as sushi and canned tuna.
However, due to climate change coupled with human activities, the tuna fisheries faces imminent dangers. The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C states that Pelagic fishes like tuna experiences habitat compression, reduced productivity and lowered biomass in response to continuous warming and oxygen loss.
All of these changes interact with and exacerbate the consequences of direct human stress including overfishing, illegal fishing, pollution, species invasion and habitat conversion. The unregulated use of giant nets and floating aggregation devices are rapidly depleting tuna stocks.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated that the global demand for tuna remains strong and that tuna fishing fleets remain significant overcapacity. In the most recent report of 2018, the FAO reported that about 7.5 million tons of tuna and tuna species in 2016 after the all-times high of 7.7 million tons in 2014.
The environmental organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have warned about the threat to some tuna types, such as Bluefin. A 2013 stock assessment report revealed that the Bluefin tuna stocks have declined by over 96 percent over unfished rates in the Northern Pacific Ocean.
In addressing the decline in tuna stocks resulting from overfishing in the world’s ocean, all government agencies and individuals must strengthen conservation management to ensure that all systems are in place to prevent tuna stocks from crashing.##