The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) held its annual meeting from 7 to 11 June 2021 with the main priority being yellowfin tuna stocks
The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) held its annual meeting from 7 to 11 June 2021.
The main priority of the meeting was to discuss how to address the yellowfin tuna stock in the Indian Ocean.
The EU had tabled two ambitious proposals, one to reduce overfishing on the stock of yellowfin tuna in coherence with its continuous efforts to since 2014, and one to counteract the increasing trend of skipjack tuna catch.
At the end of a marathon of five days, the EU was instrumental in reaching agreement on yellowfin tuna. In doing so, the EU has accepted a further reduction of 6% in catches, summing up to a total reduction of 21% compared to 2014 catch levels. As such, the EU is the main contributor to the catch reduction scheme.
However, the EU’s proposal to bring back the catches of skipjack within the agreed Total Allowable Catch (TAC) was not adopted. The EU is disappointed that the other IOTC parties were not willing to take action now to ensure that fisheries on skipjack remain sustainable in the long-term. The EU considers this a missed opportunity, but remains committed to bringing forward the issue again in the next meetings of the IOTC.