Tuna tagging increases scientific knowledge on the behaviour of the species

The Pacific Tuna Tagging Program (PTTP), implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), is the most important tuna tagging initiative in the region, thanks to the support of WCPFC and its members. The programme aims to maintain the sustainability and health of Pacific tuna fisheries by increasing scientific knowledge on tuna behaviour, movements, lifespan and size.

23 February 2022

The Pacific Tuna Tagging Program (PTTP), implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), is the most important tuna tagging initiative in the region, thanks to the support of WCPFC and its members. The programme aims to maintain the sustainability and health of Pacific tuna fisheries by increasing scientific knowledge on tuna behaviour, movements, lifespan and size.

The Pacific Tuna Tagging Program (PTTP), implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), is the most important tuna tagging effort in the region, thanks to the support of the WCPFC and its members. The programme seeks to maintain the sustainability and health of Pacific tuna fisheries by increasing scientific knowledge on tuna behaviour, movements, lifespan and size.

Tuna tagging involves catching, tagging and returning each tuna to the sea with a small tag identifying the date and place where it was caught. Subsequent fishing and recovery of these tagged individuals allows for a more detailed understanding of tuna migration patterns, as well as other aspects of their ecology, such as life expectancy or growth trends. This information is crucial for stock assessment and has high scientific value, given the historical difficulty to study the behaviour of pelagic species such as tuna. With more than 466,800 tunas tagged to date, this is the largest tagging programme ever implemented in the Pacific, contributing to the sustainability and awareness of one of the most important tuna fishing grounds in the world. 

Over the last few years, Satlink has worked with the SPC and various regional shipowners to provide as much information as possible to the tuna tagging vessel. By doing so, we share relevant information from smart DSFs used by the companies involved in the project throughout the tagging area to facilitate the identification of the best fishing grounds. This collaborative project has been a great success, as the efficiency of the tagging mission has considerably increased, breaking records in the number of tunas tagged.