ICCAT AGREES TUNA MANAGEMENT PLAN
ICCAT agrees tuna management plan – ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) has agreed on a reviewed multi-annual management plan for bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean.
In addition the Commission agreed to roll over current measures for tropical tunas and to work in advance of the 2019 Commission meeting to develop a new plan acceptable to all.
New recommendations on reporting formats for the implementation of billfish and shark measures, as well as several refinements to Monitoring, Control and Surveillance measures such as the development of the IUU vessel list, port State measures and vessel monitoring system (VMS) have also been approved.
The Commission convened to evaluate the results of the 2018 working plan together with the current status of application of the regulatory measures in force and to establish the conservation and management measures for the future.
During 2018, two species were subject to a full scientific stock assessment: bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) and blue marlin (Makaira nigricans).
Overall 12 new Recommendations and two Resolutions were adopted covering relevant issues on Atlantic tuna and tuna-like species conservation and fisheries management.
The Commission agreed to move forward to adopt the package of comprehensive amendments to modernize the ICCAT Convention, which had been developed over the past five years within the Working Group on Convention Amendment. Contracting Parties will work over the coming year to ensure that these amendments, and related measures, will be formally adopted at the 2019 Commission meeting.
While a wave of cooperation allowed significant improvements in the discussions aimed at a new conservation and management programme for tropical tuna, the Commission could not reach a consensus and the annual catch limits for bigeye tuna will continue to apply through 2019. In addition the Commission agreed to roll over current measures for tropical tunas and blue and white marlin stocks, and to work in advance of the 2019 Commission meeting to develop new plans acceptable to all.
An additional two days for compliance issues was acclaimed as productive by all, allowing time for a more in depth review of several issues which sometimes get put on the back boiler during the exceptionally busy ICCAT meetings.
The Commission also took several decisions to ensure the sustainable financial security of the organization.
Finally it was announced that the 2019 Annual ICCAT meeting will be held in Curaçao (18-25 November, 2019).