Picture: School of tuna. Credit: Jet Kim (Unsplash)

Pacific Island nations are highly dependent on Tuna Fisheries for food security, income and national economy.

Using model simulations of the movement of tuna distributions across the tropical Pacific subject to projected ocean changes, the researchers found that without strong mitigation efforts, tuna distributions are likely to shift away from island fishing zones. This could lead to catch-reductions of 20-30% by 2050 under business as usual emission trajectories.

This corresponds to losses of US$40 to US$140 million annually. As such sustainable development of tuna-dependent economies in the Pacific Island region is likely to be at substantial risk from continued high greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Paper: Bell, Johann D., Inna Senina, Timothy Adams, Olivier Aumont, Beatriz Calmettes, Sangaalofa Clark, Morgane Dessert, et al. ‘Pathways to Sustaining Tuna-Dependent Pacific Island Economies during Climate Change’. Nature Sustainability, 29 July 2021. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-021-00745-z.