SPC Develops Tuna Management Tool

10 March 2011: The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has developed a new software package called TUMAS (TUna MAnagement Simulator), which aims to assist in managing the world's largest tuna fisheries, namely those of the western and central Pacific Ocean.

TUMAS is based on the view that better informed fishery managers make better management decisions. The software enables users to assess tuna stocks based on the same science and models used by SPC, and to see what could happen in the future by changing the management to increase or decrease the catch and effort for different fisheries. It aims to allow those with a stake in the fishery to better understand stock assessments and communicate and negotiate with each other.

Once a fishery management plan has been defined, the software predicts how it would affect the health of the resources, as well as the performance of the fisheries in terms of catches and catch rates.

TUMAS was developed by scientists from SPC's Oceanic Fisheries Programme to support Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) tuna fishery management and SPC members. It was funded through a grant from the Pelagic Fisheries Research Program (PFRP) in Hawaii. [TUMAS Project Website] [SPC Press Release]