French Minister Hervé Berville welcomes the agreement signed by ICCAT members aimed at strengthening the setting of bluefin tuna quotas
Hervé Berville welcomes the historic agreement obtained at the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas for an innovative method aimed at strengthening sustainability in the setting of bluefin tuna quotas
On Monday 21 November last, a historic agreement was endorsed by the 52 contracting countries of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).
ICCAT is an intergovernmental fisheries organization responsible for the conservation of tunas and tuna-like species of the Atlantic Ocean and its adjacent seas. It aims to define binding management measures at international level based on scientific advice for several species of fish, including bluefin tuna (thunnus thynnus).
Two decades ago, nearly 80% of bluefin tuna in the Atlantic and Mediterranean were threatened. An international recovery plan was then established. Since then, populations have recovered and the bluefin tuna has become the symbol of the success of sustainable management measures.
Scientists in many countries have been working for more than 10 years on a new method of setting fishing opportunities (total allowable catches or TACs).
During the 23rd Extraordinary Meeting of the Commission held from November 14 to 21 in Vale do Lobo, Portugal, ICCAT adopted a landmark measure defining a new “Catch Strategy” or MSE that ensures:
- a high probability that Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna are not overfished.
- the multiannual fixing of the level of catches over a period of three years.
- a variation in catches between three-year management cycles that guarantees a high level of protection for the species.
Even if France would have liked the parameters adopted to favour even greater stability of the TAC, it gave its full support to the accession of the EU to this proposal to allow for a historic agreement which will guarantee greater visibility and more great sustainability in the management of fisheries resources.
Replying to the agreement Herve Berville said:
“In the current multilateral context, such a broad international agreement based on very high-level scientific expertise is a victory. This agreement strengthens the sustainable management of the resource of a species as emblematic as the bluefin tuna, both in its environmental and economic dimensions. This agreement is a very positive signal in the context of the European initiative that I am supporting to make further progress on the multiannuality of quotas for other stocks fished in European waters.”
The 52 contracting parties which endorsed the agreement were: United States, Japan, South Africa, Ghana, Canada, France (St Pierre and Miquelon) Brazil, Morocco, South Korea, Ivory Coast, Angola, Russia, Gabon, Cape Verde, Uruguay, Sao Tome and Principe, Venezuela, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Guinea, United Kingdom (Western Territories), Libya, China, European Union, Tunisia, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Namibia, Barbados, Honduras, Algeria, Mexico , Vanuatu, Iceland, Turkey, Philippines, Norway, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Senegal, Belize, Syria, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Nigeria, Egypt, Albania, Sierra Leone, Mauritania, Curaçao, Liberia, El Salvador, Guinea-Bissau. For the countries of the European Union, it is the Commission on behalf of the EU which is a party to ICCAT.