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Fisheries: IATTC fails to improve conservation and management of tunas and sharks

Press release - 3/7/2012

The European Commission is disappointed with the outcomes of the 83rd annual meeting of the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), which finished on 29 June in La Jolla, California, the United States. 

This is due to a lack of consensus on proposals for management measures that would help with the conservation of tuna stocks and other species, and the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.  More specifically, the EU proposals rejected by IATTC concerned: extending the closure period for purse seiners in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Catch Certification Scheme for tropical tunas and swordfish, management plan for Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs), in-port inspection scheme, and a ban on the retention and sale of hammerhead sharks.

Even though IATTC adopted the recommendation on best available science (proposed by the EU) and started to implement a strengthened compliance scheme, these measures are overall insufficient to ensure sustainable fisheries. The European Commission is therefore concerned with IATTC's inefficiency in terms of conservation and management of stocks.

IATTC is a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO) responsible for the conservation and management of tuna and other marine species in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Its members are:  Belize, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, European Union, France, Guatemala, Japan, Kiribati, Korea, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, United States, Vanuatu, and Venezuela.