ISC Endorses Finding of Overfishing of Striped Marlin in North Pacific

Striped marlin
Striped marlin

At the 12th Plenary of the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC), the committee endorsed the findings of the ISC's Billfish Working Group that overfishing is occurring on striped marlin in the North Pacific and the stock is overfished. The ISC12 plenary meeting was held in Sapporo, Japan from 18 July to 23 July 2012 and attended by scientists and other representatives of ISC members Canada, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea, Mexico and the United States.

The Plenary reviewed progress on stock assessments and research plans of ISC working groups. In addition to endorsing scientific findings on striped marlin stock status, the committee provided striped marlin projection information for managers to consider in crafting management measures. The Plenary also reviewed progress on other stock assessments by ISC member scientists. A new Pacific bluefin tuna stock assessment is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. And a new assessment of blue shark is planned, with the ISC Shark Working Group producing the results for review by the ISC13 Plenary next year. An assessment of Pacific blue marlin is also scheduled.

In conjunction with ISC12, a special seminar was convened on Population Resilience. It featured presentations by Ai Kimoto, National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries, Japan (NRIFSF) on "The tragedy and thereafter: Damage and recovery of Japan's fisheries after 11 March 2011"; PIFSC scientist Jon Brodziak on "Modeling resilience of fish stocks: binding limitations and open possibilities"; Hideki Nakano of the NRIFSF on "Effect of regime shift on northern tuna stocks" and Masahide Kaeriyama of Hokkaido University on "How to establish the sustainable adaptive management of Pacific salmon under the changing climate".

The ISC work plan for 2013 includes the aforementioned assessments of blue shark and blue marlin, continuing preparation for an assessment of mako shark in 2013-2014, improvements to the ISC database and website, and completion of a peer review of the ISC structure.

The next ISC Plenary, ISC13, will be held in Korea in July 2013. For more information, visit