Strict Monitoring of Individual Tuna

The CCSBT has very strict monitoring rules which mean that every individual Southern Bluefin Tuna has its own unique tag and number which allow the fished to be tracked from catching to market (see CCSBT website). This means that there is no threat to the stock from illegal catch.

Individual Monitoring of Southern Bluefin TunaIt is correct that some organisations still have not changed their classification of Southern Bluefin Tuna as still subject to overfishing, and therefore possibly not sustainable. This delay is because the major CCSBT scientific decisions are relatively recent. The first review by these organisations was in December 2012 – and it concluded that the Southern Bluefin Tuna catch was now sustainable.

There was no criticism of the decisions of the CCSBT Scientific Committee by the ENGO’s which track the status of SBT. These ENGO’s include HSI, WWF and TRAFFIC. These ENGO’s and the Australian industry want to be very cautious – but we also agree that the scientific recommendations must be respected.

More Facts About Southern Bluefin Tuna Sustainability

FAQs About SBT Sustainability

How are Southern Bluefin Tuna caught?

Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT) are caught using purse seine in South Australia.

On the east coast of Australia they are caught by pelagic long liners.

In the past SBT were caught using the poling method, but this stopped in the early 1980’s.

Recreational fisherman also catch SBT using rod and reel.

Where are Southern Bluefin Tuna ranched or farmed?

Southern Bluefin Tuna are ranched in the pristine waters of the Lower Spencer Gulf, South Australia.

They are held offshore in pontoons on lease sites, which are between 10km and 40km from Port Lincoln.

Locations of lease sites can be obtained from the Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) public register.

SBT Lease site locations 2013


What do Southern Bluefin Tuna eat?

Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT) eat many different kinds of baitfish.

In the ranched environment, approximately 80% of the diet fed to SBT are locally caught Sardines.

Sardines are sustainably harvested from waters in Spencer Gulf and the Great Australian Bight. They are also a natural food source for tuna in the wild.

Sardinops sagax

Australian Sardine Sardinops sagax


Remaining dietary requirements for SBT are met through imported baitfish.

Fish are fed a mixture of frozen and fresh baitfish. Feed may be given to SBT through frozen block feeding, syphoning, bait spinners, shovel or though a shore controlled automated  bait delivery system.