ABSTRACT: The recruitment abundance index of Pacific bluefin tuna Thunnus orientalis was estimated from 1980 to 2003 fishing year by using the troll fishery data in Nagasaki Prefecture, western Japan. It has been shown that the troll fishery in Nagasaki Prefecture operates with good time–area coverage of the species habitat, and that the fishing power slightly changed during the period analyzed, based on fisheries statistics, published information, and interviews with the fishers. Average catch per unit effort (CPUEs) were standardized by a generalized linear model (GLM) considering the effects of fishing year, season and landing area. Standardized CPUE of age-0 bluefin tuna showed larger fluctuations year by year than the nominal CPUE combined for all ages. High CPUEs in fishing years of 1981, 1994, 1996 and 1999 were observed. Data from these years agreed with the higher recruitments estimated by virtual population analysis (VPA) or higher catch of age-0 fish reported for the Pacific side. The age-specific standardized CPUE of age-0 bluefin tuna in this study was judged to be a useful indicator of recruitment.