Longtail tuna, Thunnus tonggol (Bleeker, 1851): a global review of population dynamics, ecology, fisheries, and considerations for future conservation and management
2019, Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Longtail tuna (Thunnus tonggol) is a neritic species that supports commercial, artisanal and recreational fisheries throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Historically receiving little attention by commercial fisheries, the global annual catch of longtail tuna has steadily risen from around 30,000 t in the early 1980s to exceeding 200,000 t since 2004, reaching a peak of 291,264 t in 2007, and was 281,613 t in 2017. Catches of longtail tuna in the Indian Ocean now exceed catches of principal commercial target species, such as albacore and bigeye tunas. A sequence of stock assessments undertaken throughout the species' range since the late 1980s persistently indicated that at least three of the four stocks defined in this paper are likely to have been, and most likely are currently, subject to overfishing and overfished as a result of excess fishing effort on this relatively slow-growing and long-lived tuna species. As the spawning biomass of principal tuna target species continue to decline in both the Indian and western and central Pacific Oceans, the increasing catches of longtail tuna, other neritic tunas, and seerfishes is worrisome. Few conservation and management measures (CMMs) are currently in place specifically for longtail tuna, although in recent years some coastal States, Regional Fishery Bodies, and tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisations have begun to develop initiatives to improve the catch and biological data quality for longtail tuna and sympatric species of neritic tunas and tuna-like species. This paper provides a global review of biological, ecological and fishery information to provide researchers, fishery managers and policy makers with the most current information from which to begin to guide future stock assessment and the development of CMMs for longtail tuna.