yellowfin tuna ocean CO2

Seychelles Yellowfin Tuna Facing Ocean Pasture Peril And Promise

The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission is calling for a dramatic 20% reduction in fishing allowances of the prized Seychelles Yellowfin tuna.

Scientists say the species is no longer surviving in sustainable numbers on dying ocean pastures.

We can and we must restore them to historic abundance. This blue planet needs a second miracle of the fishes.

seychelle yellowfin tuna ship

Gigantic ships catch and deliver 90% of Indian Ocean tuna to processing facilities in the Seychelles. click to enlarge

“In 2014, more than 430,000 tons of Seychelles yellowfin tuna (~10 million fish) were caught, while the average catch in the years between 2010 and 2014 was 370,000 tonnes,” Philippe Michaud, adviser to the Seychelles’ Ministry of Finance told SNA on Thursday.

The tuna commission is calling for an immediate 20% reduction of the Yellowfin catch to bring the tonnage caught back to levels of a few years ago. However many tuna/ocean experts say the 20% cut is far too little if that is the only management tool employed to conserve and regenerate tuna stocks.

This news follows on the heels of a major report on tuna globally released bythe Pew Charitable Trust in the USA. In the Pew report titled “Netting Billions” the global tuna industry is portrayed as a $42 billion per year super-industry that is engaged in a perilous gluttony of taking too many tuna everywhere. The Pew report ignores like by-catch the ecological crisis tuna simultaneously face in our world of high and rising CO2 but my review of the report on my blog keeps and highlights the real reasons for the crisis tuna face globally.

The Yellowfin tuna is second in size only to the giant Blue Fin Tuna which everywhere in the world has seen a catastrophic collapse to the point where only 3% of Blue Fin tuna remain. Tuna harvestors have persistently targeted the larger tuna as they bring a much higher price in the market. The larger fish however require the highest quality ocean habitat to thrive which places them in danger as ocean tuna pastures are today in terrible peril.

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Reports in the past several months have noted that Indian Ocean tuna catches overall are down 50%-90% – click to enlarge

In closely related news the collapse of Indian Ocean plankton pastures, tuna pastures, is reported in the Journal Geophysical Letters at 2% per year, double the rate of collapse of phytoplankton pastures globally.

All tuna including the prized Seychelles Yellowfin are incredibly dependent on the health of their ocean pastures. As the pasture primary productivity declines tuna in all stage of their life cycle are faced with their food becoming ever more difficult to find and in smaller quantities.

Seychelles yellowfin tuna eggs

Tuna eggs from a healthy mother. When well nourished Yellowfin tuna will release millions of eggs during spawning which can occur anytime during the year. In times of ocean pasture drought and famine the fish may not spawn at all, even if they do spawn fish in poor condition produce eggs that are smaller and the hatched larvae have very poor survival.

Tuna, especially the larger Yellowfin, also face dramatic decline in fertility and fecundity (number and health of eggs and offspring) as their nutrition is challenged. Larval and young tuna suffer enormously higher mortality as once flourishing ocean pastures turn into blue deserts.

It becomes the worst possible scenario for tuna when excessive capture in overlain onto collapsing ocean pasture carrying capacity. The remaining fish don’t have a chance as declining pastures and their plankton blooms, results in aggregation of the fish making them ever more vulnerable to modern tuna fleets equipped with the latest satellite plankton bloom mapping.

“From these data, tuna fishing vessels are catching more of the Seychelles Yellowfin and faster than the stock can renew itself,” Michaud said, speaking of the recent IOTC report.

Michaud noted that if fishermen continue to haul in Yellowfin at the same pace, the species will be quickly threatened. This is true even though the Yellowfin can reproduce faster than the now decimated Bluefin tuna. They are surly being forced into the same deadly decline as Bluefins.

The Seychelles, an island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean just north of Madagascar, is a member of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission. It is supporting the organisation in its proposal for a reduction of Yellowfin tuna fishing by 20 percent at its next meeting in a few weeks time. The commission has 32 members and its headquarters is located in Victoria, the capital of Seychelles.


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Intelligent management of the regional fish stock is one of the top priorities for the Seychelles government. Fishing is the second pillar of its economy, after tourism. Mahe, the main island of the archipelago, is home to one of the largest tuna canning factories in the world. The Seychelles, with a vast exclusive economic zone that fences in 1.5 million square kilometres of ocean, is striving to become a world leader for the protection of marine resources.

Ocean Pasture Restoration Will Immediately Return Indian Ocean Tuna Pastures From East to West To Historic Abundance

Today our proven safe, sustainable, low cost, regenerative technologies and methodologies to restore and revive ocean fish pastures is standing ready to be deployed. Our work involves perfected ‘Ecosystem Service’ methods to prescribe and replenish vital mineral micronutrients that are in ever more diminishing supply due to the consequences of high and rising CO2 levels.

Global Greening (click to enlarge)

Global Greening from high and rising CO2 is covering the earth and preventing vital mineral dust from nourishing the world’s ocean pastures (click to enlarge)

Our fossil fueled CO2 emissions of a trillion tonnes over the past century have dramatically increased and resulted in global greening of dry grasslands around the world.

More grass growing means less dust blowing, and it is dust that blows in the wind that delivers vital mineral nutrients to sustain ocean pastures.

In todays high CO2 greening world ocean plant life, the phytoplankton that are the grass of ocean pastures, have been in terrible decline. The worst rate of decline is in the Indian ocean at 2% per year, and this decline has been going on, not unseen but largely unreported for decades.

Time has finally run out on the reserve capacity and resilience of Indian Ocean pastures and they are today rapidly suffering from the drought of dust and becoming ever more blue ocean deserts.


Seychelles Yellowfin Tuna Coin, the cost of restoring Indian Ocean Yellowfin pastures will be about one of these coins, a mere penny per fish

The means to replenish the vital dust has been the subject of a quarter century of international ocean science directed research at a cost of a quarter of a billion dollars. In 2012 the largest ocean restoration project ever to be undertaken was performed (by me) in the NE Pacific Ocean. In dying ocean salmon pastures my single fishing boat load of prescription mineral dust turned that blue desert into a lush ocean pasture for a remarkably low cost.

The following year in Alaska the expected catch of one of the five species of salmon, the Pink Salmon, was forecast to be 50 million fish. Instead when the Pink Salmon swam into Alaskan fishermen’s nets the catch turned out to be 226 million fish, the largest catch in all of history.

Indian Ocean tuna, especially the Yellowfin, can be almost immediately returned and sustained at historic abundance as we choose to become caring stewards of their ocean tuna pastures. IT JUST WORKS!

sitka news salmon story

2012 ocean pasture replenishment and restoration work in the NE Pacific returned the ocean to life as seen in the largest catch of salmon in all of history in Alaska the next year. click to read more.

Join me to help bring back the fish!