Tuna, Yellowfin – Trinidad and Tobago Longline
Yellowfin Tuna are found and caught in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide with a variety of fishing gears. This report evaluates Yellowfin Tuna caught in the Trinidad and Tobago longline fishery in the Caribbean region of the Atlantic Ocean.
Yellowfin Tuna in the Atlantic Ocean are at a low abundance and it is uncertain whether current fishing levels on yellowfin tuna are sustainable or not. Several other tuna species, billfish (swordfish, marlins), and sharks are also caught in Trinidad and Tobago’s longline fishery. Some of these species are at very low abundances, including blue and white marlins, and some endangered sea turtles are also caught in the fishery.
Several management regulations have been established to manage Yellowfin Tuna and their associated species both at the international level, through the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), and by Trinidad and Tobago. Management overall has been moderately effective; however monitoring and management of bycatch, like sea turtles, needs improvement. The pelagic or surface longline gear used to catch Yellowfin Tuna causes no damage to bottom habitats, but because tuna fisheries catch numerous top predator species, there is some concern that these fisheries may affect ocean food webs and ecosystems.