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ICCAT 2012: EU to push for Protection of Bluefin Tuna, Marlin and Sharks
as fight against illegal fishing continues
The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna
(ICCAT) is holding its annual meeting in Agadir, Morocco, from 12 to 19 of
November 2012. In this annual meeting the European Commission, which represents
the EU, is hoping to build on the success of last year's negotiations which
included decisions on multi-annual management measures for Mediterranean
Swordfish and Tropical Tuna along with protection measures for silky shark and
seabirds based on best available science.
This year's priority will be Bluefin tuna as the multi-annual recovery
plan is due for review.
The stock assessment for Bluefin tuna has shown early positive signs of
recovery although little is currently known about this trend.
It will therefore be important to keep management measures for this
valuable species stable in order to ensure recovery and sustained yield for
fishermen for the future.
However this should not prevent ICCAT from strengthening the management
and control part of the recovery plan, such as putting in place the electronic
catch documentation system for Bluefin tuna where necessary.
At this year's meeting the EU will also continue to propose measures
for the protection of sharks including porbeagle and shortfin mako and
supporting comprehensive measures for the conservation of Blue and White Marlin.
Another priority will be to further strengthen the management and
control system of ICCAT.
The EU hopes that its proposals for an in-port inspection scheme and
for the traceability of other ICCAT species will be adopted.
This should lead to better compliance with agreed rules in the combat
against Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated fishing (IUU).
Furthermore, by remaining a driver in the compliance assessment
process, the EU intends to ensure that rules are properly respected.
Finally, a reliance on scientific data remains paramount on the EU's
agenda and ICCAT must deliver on the Best Science Recommendation adopted last
ICCAT is the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic
Its objective is to maintain populations of tuna and tuna-like fishes
in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean at sustainable levels.
The EU is a full member of ICCAT and plays a leading role towards the
achievement of its objective.