On the trail of the Atlantic bluefin tuna

Grand Bluefin Year Programme

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) launched the Atlantic-wide Bluefin Tuna Research Programme (GBYP) in 2010 to:

  • increase the collection of baseline data in the fisheries sector
  • improve knowledge of key biological and ecological processes
  • improve stock assessment and provide scientific advice for management purposes.

One of the main activities carried out is tagging, both with conventional tags called “spaghetti tags” (on the right of the picture) and electronic “pop-up” tags (on the left of the picture). After a given period of time, the pop-up tags detach and transmit information via satellite.

This tagging is extremely important as it allows better estimation of natural mortality and growth rates, as well as the collection of information on the spatial patterns of the species. Electronic tagging is used to study in more detail the habitat use of the species and the genetics of migration to feeding areas.

Tagging awareness activities are essential to increase tag recovery and reporting rates and ensure the success of tagging programmes.

For example, the GBYP programme has conducted an extensive awareness campaign including awards. Posters in 12 languages and other publicity materials were distributed to many partner organisations.
Tagging awareness videos, in 7 languages, are also available on the ICCAT GBYP YouTube channel.

See the ICCAT GBYP YouTube channel.

For more information, visit the ICCAT GBYP website.

See the ICCAT website

An electronic "pop-up" tag was found in December 2018 on a beach on the Ile d'Oléron (17).

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