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Commercial Fishing



IOTC agrees dedicated 2021 session to address yellowfin tuna – The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) met for its 24th Session between the 2nd and 6th November 2020.

The meeting was held by video-conference and with a reduced agenda focusing mainly on budgetary and administrative issues.

Notwithstanding the constraints of the format, the IOTC was able to agree upon the EU’s proposal, to schedule a Special Session of IOTC in March 2021 to discuss a management plan for yellowfin tuna. Yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean is currently assessed as overfished.

The EU is strongly committed to working with all the parties of IOTC to ensure the adoption of an ambitious and effective recovery plan for yellowfin tuna stock, achieving the recommended catch reductions, covering all active fishing vessels regardless of size and area of operation, particularly vessels using large scale drift nets.


The Commission has four key functions and responsibilities which enable it to achieve its objectives. They are drawn from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and are:

  • to keep under review the conditions and trends of the stocks and to gather, analyse and disseminate scientific information, catch and effort statistics and other data relevant to the conservation and management of the stocks and to fisheries based on the stocks;
  • to encourage, recommend, and coordinate research and development activities in respect of the stocks and fisheries covered by the IOTC, and such other activities as the Commission may decide appropriate, such as transfer of technology, training and enhancement, having due regard to the need to ensure the equitable participation of Members of the Commission in the fisheries and the special interests and needs of Members in the region that are developing countries;  to view the current capacity building activities of the Commission please visit the Capacity Building page;
  • to adopt – on the basis of scientific evidence – Conservation and Management Measures (CMM) to ensure the conservation of the stocks covered by the Agreement and to promote the objective of their optimum utilisation throughout the Area;
  • to keep under review the economic and social aspects of the fisheries based on the stocks covered by the Agreement bearing in mind, in particular, the interests of developing coastal States.