Development and Implementation of a sampling scheme to support the collection of biological samples and conduct analysis on these samples to provide improved estimates of age, growth and reproduction of tropical tunas, swordfish, and blue sharks for the Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC)
The main objective of this project is to produce updated estimates of age, growth and reproduction parameters for the stock assessments of Indian Ocean tropical tunas (bigeye, skipjack and yellowfin), swordfish and blue shark.
For this, we will develop a sampling scheme to collect samples of otoliths, gonads and other body parts, and analyse them in combination with samples collected in previous research initiatives.
Our strategy consists on identifying key research analysis (e.g. bomb radio-carbon dating of otoliths for age validation) for new samples, developing and applying consistent methodologies for preparing and analysing samples, and maximizing the research opportunities from previous and current international collaborations and building research capacity in the Indian Ocean.
The data collected will allow to know the productivity levels of these species, a key parameter for the development of sustainable fisheries management plans.
To achieve this, we have built an international consortium of research institutions with considerable experience in sampling in the Indian Ocean and internationally recognised experts in the fields of estimating growth and reproductive parameters. This consortium has links with other research projects, which ensures access to a stock of previously collected samples to help meet the objectives of this project within the agreed timeline.
AZTI (Spain), CSIRO (Australia), IRD (France), ISSF (United States), RCFMC-RITF (Indonesia), WWF Pakistan (Pakistan), SFA (Seychelles) and MMRI (Maldives)
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS -FAO