A new mechanism has been brought in by the Spanish government that allows for the distribution of unfished Atlantic bigeye tuna quota
The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has launched a mechanism to optimize bigeye tuna fishing in the Atlantic.
This mechanism allows fishing vessels authorized for the capture of this species that have exhausted their quota to continue fishing by taking advantage of the surplus quota from other vessels.
A surplus of approximately 1,913 tonnes has been established, which can be used by the high seas purse seine tuna fleet, the Canarian coastal and artisanal fleets, and the surface longline fleet and other fleets that incidentally catch this species.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food has implemented the optimisation mechanism for the population of bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) in the area regulated by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) for the year 2023. This allows authorised vessels for the capture of this species that have exhausted their quota to continue fishing by taking advantage of the surplus quota from other vessels, thus enabling the regular activity of the Spanish bigeye tuna fleet.
The Official State Gazette has published a resolution from the General Secretariat of Fisheries that allows the activation of this mechanism, which aims to dynamically address the situation that has arisen in recent years where not all vessels authorized to fish this species used up their fishing opportunities, while others did so before completing their campaign and could not continue fishing.
Faced with this situation, the mechanism seeks to facilitate effective management of fishing opportunities, as the national quota consumption of bigeye tuna did not reach 100% in any of the three previous campaigns (2020, 2021, and 2022).
Atlantic bigeye tuna is now included in the stocks where the optimization mechanism is already applied. Thus, if there is a surplus quota representing an amount greater than the consumption that a vessel or group of vessels can carry out before the end of the year, the General Secretariat of Fisheries may set that surplus as a common quota to operate as an annual optimization mechanism that can be used by the rest of the vessels.
In this way, based on the consumption of the last three campaigns, a surplus of approx. 1,913 tonnes has been established, which can be used by the high seas purse seine tuna fleet, the Canarian coastal and artisanal fleets, and the surface longline fleet, as well as other fleets that incidentally catch this species.
This measure underscores the commitment of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food to the responsible management of fishery resources, seeking the maximum utilization of available quotas for the Spanish fishing fleet. All of this aligns with the Sustainable Fisheries and Fisheries Research Act, which responds to the comprehensive dimension of sustainability, encompassing environmental, social, and economic aspects, as recognized in the Common Fisheries Policy.
Source: Press Release