Assessing fish aggregating devices in European tuna fishing vessels and providing recommendations on tuna management measures in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
A new EMFF study on the use of drifting fish aggregating devices (dFADs) by the European tuna purse seiners fishing vessels and their impact on the tuna resource and ecosystem of the Atlantic and Indian oceans has been recently published. The study falls within the principles of an ecosystem approach to fisheries, which fully stands by the EU Green Deal in terms of sustainable exploitation of healthy fish resources.
The main objective of the CECOFAD II study was to provide the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries with technical and scientific analyses to improve the understanding of the use of dFADs in tropical tuna PS fisheries and to assess the impact of this fishing practice on associated pelagic species and on vulnerable ecosystems. The study also assessed the contribution of the dFADs to fishing mortality and developed management measures. In the end, it provided a number of recommendations on management measures for tuna resource exploitation in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
Among its recommendations to create substantial management measures for facilitating the administration of highly migratory species, the study suggested integrating the opinions of different stakeholders (scientists, fishermen, government officials, and NGO representatives).
Implementing such recommendations would ultimately help blue economy actors combine the sustainable exploitation of the tropical tuna resources with the conservation of ecosystems, while providing food income and safeguarding fishermen’s livelihoods in a sustainable way.