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© naturepl.com  / Doc White / WWF

We seek to ensure the sustainable management of the region’s commercial fish species, using the Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna as an indicator species.

The Indian Ocean is the second-largest producer of tuna, accounting for almost 20% of the global tuna catch.

Most of this is exported to food-secure countries. Climate change and rampant illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing are also taking a toll on stocks. To date, conservation and management measures have failed to avoid the consequences of overfishing.

Many industrial fishing vessels still use unsustainable fishing gear, leading to large amounts of juvenile tuna, turtle, seabird and shark bycatch, with devastating consequences for the future of these species.
© Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF
Our goal is that, by 2030, ecosystem-based fisheries management is being used to ensure the long-term sustainability of important fisheries in the SWIO region while benefiting local communities and economies in target countries.

This will be measured by tracking Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna as a flagship species and monitoring its recovery against a 2022 baseline. Recovery of the species would signal improved regional fisheries governance.

Without urgent intervention, the Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna population may be headed towards a collapse.
© James Morgan / WWF

We endorse evidence-based, effective and urgent regional governance of fish stocks by promoting the science and calling for strengthened fisheries governance processes in our engagements with the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC).

We support national implementation of sustainable fisheries management.

We engage key tuna retailers in United States and European markets to shift market demand for overfished tuna species.

We work to amplify the voices of coastal states, most of which belong to the Group of 16 countries, at regional fisheries management organization meetings.