This year, fishermen in the southern ocean of Australia report seeing more tuna than in 20 years. They report not only bigger catches, but also that the average tuna is about 20% lager than previous years.

tunamarket2 Good news for Blue fin Tuna?

Australian Tuna Association chief executive Brian Jeffries says: “There’s a lot more fish out there than there has been in the past 10 years and the fish are bigger in that period.”

This leads some to believe that the tuna population is recovering and that it has been doing so since 2006 when it was discovered that Japanese boats were catching 40,000 tonnes of southern blue fin tuna illegally each year and had been doing so for at least 20 years. The discovery lead to a crack down on Japanese illegal fishing and the illegal fishing in the region has, although still preset, dramatically dropped since 2006.

Is the tuna population in the Southern Ocean starting to recover, or is this just a sign of an imminent collapse – similar to the good years that preceded the cod collapse in the Atlantic? Only the future can tell.