The 20th annual meeting of International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) was held recently in Vilamoura, Portugal. This year more than 600 delegates representing 51 governments gathered to discuss a number of important measures that advance the sustainable management of these valuable species.
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing was a major topic of discussion, with several members agreeing to take more steps to combat IUU practices.
“The U.S. supports actions taken by ICCAT to address IUU fishing, including amending transshipment controls, creating an expert group to design training programs on port inspection, and updating its IUU vessel list,” said U.S. Commissioner to ICCAT Russell F. Smith III.
ICCAT also took steps to improve compliance with the management measures adopted. These included improvements to the way in which ICCAT members report their activities, improvements to the way in which ICCAT”s compliance committee reviews those reports and considers the actions of ICCAT members and the development of a schedule of possible responses to noncompliance with ICCAT management measures.
Despite U.S. efforts, ICCAT did not adopt measures to reduce the catch of juvenile bigeye and yellowfin tunas or establish meaningful controls on vessels fishing on fish aggregating devices in the eastern Atlantic tropical tuna fishery.
2016 ICCAT adopted Recommendations and Resolutions:
– Recommendation by ICCAT on a Multi-Annual Conservation and Management Program for Tropical Tunas
– Recommendation by ICCAT on Management Measures for the Conservation of Atlantic Blue Shark Caught in Association with ICCAT Fisheries
– Recommendation by ICCAT on Improvement of Compliance Review of Conservation and Management Measures regarding Sharks Caught in Association with ICCAT Fisheries
– Recommendation by ICCAT replacing the Recommendation [13-04] and Establishing a Multi-annual Recovery Plan for Mediterranean Swordfish
– Recommendation by ICCAT for the Conservation of North Atlantic Swordfish
– Recommendation by ICCAT for the Conservation of South Atlantic Swordfish
– Recommendation by ICCAT on Management Measures for the Conservation of Atlantic Sailfish
– Recommendation by ICCAT Amending Recommendation [15-05] by ICCAT to Further Strengthen the Plan to Rebuild Blue Marlin and White Marlin Stocks
– Recommendation by ICCAT Amending the Supplemental Recommendation by ICCAT Concerning the Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Rebuilding Program
– Recommendation by ICCAT to Supplement Recommendation 14-04 by ICCAT Amending the Recommendation 13-07 by ICCAT to Establish a Multi-Annual Recovery Plan for Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean
– Recommendation by ICCAT on the Southern Albacore Catch Limits for the Period 2017 To 2020
– Recommendation by ICCAT on a Multi-annual Conservation and Management Program for North Atlantic Albacore
– Recommendation by ICCAT to Establish Minimum Standards for Fishing Vessel Scientific Observer Program
– Recommendation by ICCAT to Amend ICCAT Reporting Deadlines in Order to Facilitate an Effective and Efficient Compliance Process
– Recommendation by ICCAT on Transhipment
– Recommendation by ICCAT to Clarify and Supplement the Process for Seeking Capacity Building Assistance Pursuant to ICCAT Recommendation 14-08
– Recommendation by ICCAT for the Development of an Online Reporting System
– Recommendation by ICCAT to Establish an Ad hoc Working Group on Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs)
– Resolution by ICCAT to Establish an Ad Hoc Working Group to Follow up on the Second Performance Review
– Resolution by ICCAT to Facilitate an Effective and Efficient Compliance Process
– Resolution by ICCAT Establishing an ICCAT Schedule of Actions to Improve Compliance and Cooperation with ICCAT Measures
– Resolution by ICCAT on Ecosystems that are Important and Unique for ICCAT Species
– Resolution by ICCAT on the Third Meeting of the Standing Working Group for Enhancing the Dialogue Between Fisheries Scientists and Managers (SWGSM)
The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) is an inter-governmental fisheries organization responsible for the conservation of tunas and other highly migratory species in the Atlantic Ocean. This year is the 50th anniversary of ICCAT.
The U.S. delegation to ICCAT includes U.S. Government officials as well as representatives of the U.S. commercial and recreational fishing industries and non-governmental conservation organizations.
For more information, visit the ICCAT website (www.iccat.int).
sources: International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, NOAA Fisheries