Fisheries

ICCAT parties meet in Marrakech to discuss conservation measures for Atlantic tunas and sharks

ICCAT parties meet in Marrakech to discuss conservation measures for Atlantic tunas and sharks

ICCAT parties meet in Marrakech to discuss conservation measures for Atlantic tunas and sharks

14/11/2017

As governments gather for the 2017 International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) Annual Meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco (14-22 November), the amendment of the conservation measures for Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Bluefin tuna is the main item on the agenda.

The European Commission will use the meeting to push for a more sustainable, science-based management of fish stocks, in line with the EU Common Fisheries Policy, and to find an agreement on the amendment of the ICCAT Convention. The meeting will also offer an opportunity to take stock of the remarkable improvement in the conservation status of the Eastern stock of Atlantic Bluefin tuna after the adoption of a recovery plan by ICCAT in 2008.

Ten years ago, the dire state of Eastern stocks of Atlantic Bluefin tuna generated widespread concern, but thanks to ICCAT concerted action and the sustained effort produced by the Contracting Parties and Cooperating Non-Contracting Parties (CPCs), and all stakeholders, scientists have for a few years now recognised the steady progress towards recovery of this stock and advised ICCAT to review the management measures in light of its improved status. Consequently, the EU will seek to secure the adoption of a management plan for Eastern bluefin tuna that better reflects the current stock situation.

The EU will also seek to secure the adoption of the first ICCAT harvest control rules for North Atlantic Albacore and other measures, including to protect shark species by implementing a  “fins naturally attached” policy requiring that sharks are landed with their fins naturally attached to their bodies and to address the dire state of shortfin mako sharks.

Background

ICCAT is an intergovernmental fisheries management organisation responsible for the conservation of tunas and tuna like species in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas. As member of ICCAT, the European Union is represented in the negotiations by the European Commission.