Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Minnesota
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Minnesota Project

Growth Assessment of Atlantic Ocean Tropical Tunas

June 2019 - February 2021


Participating Agencies

  • ICCAT Atlantic Ocean Tropical tuna Tagging Programme (AOTTP)

The overall objective of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Atlantic Ocean Tropical Tuna Tagging Program (AOTTP) is to contribute to food security and economic growth of the Atlantic coastal states by ensuring sustainable management of tropical tuna resources in the Atlantic Ocean. Specifically it provided evidence-based scientific advice to developing Atlantic coastal states, and other ICCAT Contracting Parties, for them to adopt appropriate conservation and management measures within the framework of the ICCAT. The AOTTP awarded a contract to study the growth of 3 tropical tuna species from the Atlantic Ocean - Bigeye, Yellowfin, and Skipjack to Dr. John M. Hoenig of Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences (VIMS) at the College of William and Mary with Dr. Lynn Waterhouse (currently with the Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, then with the John G. Shedd Aquarium) as a co-Principal Investigator on the project. The growth studies utilized past data along with tagging data and hard part data (otoliths and spines) from the AOTTP program. The project also led to the development of a novel method for estimating ages from spines when vascularization may obscure the central rings of the spine. Vascularization is a problem for the spines of many tuna species along with other marine and freshwater species. Two of the papers from this project will be coming out in a special issue of Fisheries Research dedicated to projects from the AOTTP.

Research Publications Publication Date
Waterhouse, L., L. Ailloud, R. Austin, W. J. Golet, A. Pacicco, A. Andrews, K. Diouf, Y. Ndiour, K. Krusic-Golub, G. da Silva, and J. M. Hoenig. 2022. Updated Integrated Growth Model for Bigeye Tuna (Thunnus obesus) in the Atlantic Ocean. Fisheries Research. | Abstract | Download December 2022