Statement on the ICCAT Annual Meeting and bluefin tuna
On 9 November 2010 the European Commission adopted a proposal for the EU position on bluefin tuna at the upcoming meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). At the meeting, ICCAT Parties will be called to agree on a bluefin tuna recovery plan for the period 2011-2013. Commissioner Damanaki has issued the following statement:
"This is a major step forward. For the first time we have a clear Commission proposal for a Council mandate for a reduction of the total allowable catches of bluefin tuna, based on science. This is about a reduction in ICCAT on catches, through a precautionary approach. This is much more effective than an approach that would simply aim at adjusting catches around last year's figures. This mandate, once adopted by the Council, will ensure that the EU can successfully defend its interests, the long-term sustainability of this sensitive stock, and the prospects of our fishermen and our industry in ICCAT in a few days in Paris. The Commission will also seek on behalf of the EU to implement measures to promote the process of eliminating fishing overcapacity and to ensure that effective control measures are reinforced. We are now well on track for a good result, but this Commission proposal needs first to be adopted by the Council".