Bluefin tuna: Commissioner Damanaki wants Libyan fishery temporarily suspended
Given the current exceptional situation in Libya, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki has expressed serious doubts about the capacity of the Libyan authorities to ensure full compliance with and enforcement of the measures established by ICCAT for the purposes of conserving bluefin tuna.
In a letter to the ICCAT chairman, the Commissioner explains that, as long as this situation will last, this gives rise to grave concerns in a situation where bluefin tuna is already under serious threat. She strongly believes that Libya is not in a position to honour the rights and to discharge the obligations arising from the ICCAT Convention, including the enforcement and co-operation obligations laid down in its Article IX, as well as the obligation to ensure compliance with and the enforcement of applicable ICCAT Conservation and Management measures.
Accordingly, Commissioner Maria Damanaki considers that the ICCAT Commission should decide that all ICCAT-related fishing activities conducted by vessels entitled to fly the flag of Libya or by other vessels within the waters under the sovereignty or jurisdiction of Libya be temporarily suspended until Libya is able to ensure the respect of all ICCAT provisions.