Tuna stocks, sharks and marine environments should be protected, ISSF announced. (Photo: International Seafood Sustainability Foundation/FIS)
ISSF supports recommendations for tuna management in Indian Ocean
Thursday, April 19, 2012, 03:20 (GMT + 9)
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) has announced its position in anticipation of the 16th Session of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) to be held this month in Fremantle, Australia. ISSF is calling for member nations to move more aggressively to protect tuna stocks, sharks and the region’s greater marine environment.
Based on the most recent scientific analysis and stock assessments, ISSF has identified several key policy areas which must be addressed during the upcoming meeting.
As Indian Ocean albacore tuna continues to be overfished, ISSF is urging member nations to keep the total catch at or below the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) level of 30,000 tonnes. Moreover, ISSF supports the IOTC Scientific Committee’s catch recommendations for bigeye, yellowfin and skipjack taken in the region – they should not exceed 102,900, 300,000 and 512,000 tonnes, respectively.
ISSF also encourages the implementation of stock-specific reference points and harvest control rules, both to help ensure the future of tuna stocks and to help maintain satisfactory governance scores from certification schemes to encourage regional economic development.
To promote better shark conservation measures and given the lack of data on sharks in the Indian Ocean, ISSF is calling for Cooperating non-Contracting Parties (CPCs) to comply with their reporting requirement on sharks and to limit fishing mortality, as well as mandate that fins remain naturally attached to any sharks retained onboard.
Further, ISSF is asking IOTC and all RFMOs to take on a prohibition on deliberate purse seine setting around whale sharks.
Among other recommendations, ISSF is requesting that the IOTC hone its definition of large-scale tuna longline vessels (LSTLVs) to better enforce Resolution 11-05, which limits the occurrence of at-sea transshipments for LSTLVs and requires reporting of transshipments in port.
Finally, ISSF is stressing that significant improvements are necessary regarding data collection and monitoring, especially for the region’s artisanal and semi-industrial tuna fisheries. IOTC must assiduously address these data gaps, ISSF affirmed.
By Natalia Real