Umr Marbec

Return of the giant tunny: evidence of increased occurrence of Atlantic bluefin tuna off the UK and Ireland

> Thomas W. Horton Université d'Exeter, Royaume-Uni, JEUDI 11 MARS 2021, 13h45 \ 14h30

Return of the giant tunny: evidence of increased occurrence of Atlantic bluefin tuna off the UK and Ireland *

Atlantic bluefin tuna (ABT, Thunnus thynnus; Linneaus, 1758) is an ecologically important apex-predator with high commercial value. They were once common off the coast of the United Kingdom (UK), before disappearing in the 1960s. In regions lacking commercial fisheries for ABT, such as the UK and Ireland, spatial data can be scarce. In these cases, sightings and bycatch databases can offset information shortfalls. Here we document the reappearance of ABT into territorial waters of the UK from 2014 onwards, and increased occurrence off Ireland. We analyse a novel, multi-source dataset comprising occurrence data (2008 to 2019; 989 sightings and 114 tonnes of bycatch) compiled from a range of sources (scientific surveys, ecotours and fisheries). We show an increasing trend in effort-corrected ABT occurrence in:
■ (1) the pelagic ecosystem survey in the western English Channel and Celtic Sea (PELTIC),
■ (2) an ecotour operator, and
■ (3) the Irish albacore fishery in on-shelf and off-shelf waters. Sightings of ABT by the PELTIC correlated with modelled abundance estimates of ABT and the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation.
These data demonstrate that sightings of ABT have increased off the UK and Ireland since 2014, following the same increasing trend (2010 onwards) as the eastern ABT population.

* Evidence of increased occurrence of Atlantic bluefin tuna in territorial waters of the UK and Ireland. Witt, Matthew (contact); Horton, Tom; Block, Barbara; Davies, Rachel; Hawkes, Lucy; Jones, Duncan; Jones, Hannah; Leeves, Keith; O'Maoiléidigh, Niall; Righton, David; van der Kooij, Jeroen; Wall, Dave. In press. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 10.1093/icesjms/fsab039.
Séminaire accessible sur ZOOM : ID de réunion : 818 4629 5301
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