The Atlantic-Wide Research Programme for Bluefin Tuna was officially adopted by the ICCAT Commission in 2008, endorsing the SCRS Chair’s report on Bluefin Tuna Research Priorities and Potential costs. In 2009 the SCRS advised the Commission that, in order to substantially improve the scientific advice, such program would focus on the improvement of basic data collection through data mining, understanding of key biological and ecological processes and assessment models and provision of scientific advice on stock status.
During the Commission Meeting in 2009, a number of Contracting Parties expressed a willingness to make extra-budgetary contributions to such a Programme with a view towards initiation of activities related to different priorities: Programme coordination, data mining, aerial surveys and tagging design studies, with additional research activities to be undertaken in the following years. The provision to accept additional contributions from various entities and private institutions or companies was also agreed.
GBYP (Grand Bluefin Tuna Year Programme) was then adopted as official acronym of the research programme.
One of the core activities of ICCAT GBYP are so-called Biological Studies, which ICCAT GBYP started in 2011, maintaining a biological sampling programme covering the main bluefin fisheries and funding a series of studies based on the analysis of these samples, as microchemical and genetics analyses to investigate mixing and population structure, with a particular attention to the age structure and the probable sub-populations identification. This activity is coordinated by AZTI
Biological and genetic sampling for increasing the understanding of key biological and ecological processes for Atlantic tuna.