The comeback of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) to Norwegian waters
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonFisheries Research. 2020, 231, 105689. 10.1016/j.fishres.2020.105689
We document that Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) began making a comeback from 2012 onwards into Norwegian waters, after several decades of absence, in parallel with an overall increased abundance recorded for eastern BFT. This study explores the distribution, biology and ecology of BFT reestablishing in Norwegian waters. We analyzed commercial catch and bycatch data including biological data on weight, length and age of BFT from 2016–2018. Predominantly larger (overall range in catches: 120−465 kg in weight and 184−297 cm in straight fork length (SFL)) adult individuals between 6 and 14 years old have recently started to revisit Norwegian waters. Numerous recently documented BFT observations were reported in this study, and a significant increase was detected from 2012 (n = 1) to 2018 (n = 105) (p < 0.01). Schools of BFT were observed predominantly from June to December, including the northernmost registered observation in history recorded at 76.2 °N in September 2018. Atlantic bluefin tuna has now reestablished and has shown a positive comeback to its historical migration patterns in Norwegian waters, where it has expanded its feeding areas towards the north.