The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), the Regional Fisheries Management Organisation responsible to manage tuna and tuna like species in the Indian Ocean, has concluded its annual plenary session yesterday 26 April in Fremantle, Australia, after five days of discussions which followed-up to three dedicated days on compliance issues.
Compliance and capacity building of IOTC Members Coastal States developing States remain the main challenges for this Tuna RFMO, whilst Members should start reflecting on how enhance its effectiveness, including through a modernization of its basic Agreement, whose conclusions preceded the New York Fish Stock Agreement entering into force.
The results of the meeting are welcomed by European Commission. IOTC has adopted a number of new measures in particular for the protection of some by-catch species, as well as on the improvement of the its scientific committee works and on Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs).8 out of the 11 proposals tabled by the EU session were adopted, showing the proactive and leading role of the EU in the IOTC.
More specifically, the main decisions adopted by the IOTC during the session were:
However the EU Commission regrets that the EU proposals on protection of sharks were not adopted for the difficult positions taken by some Costal States as well as some long distance fishing nations, and confirm its commitments in strengthening an ecosystem based approach to fishery.