RFMO · ICCAT
ICCAT is the second oldest regional tuna management organization, established in 1966 and first meeting in 1969. Its Convention is open to any government that is a member of the United Nations or any specialized agency of the United Nations. Each member government can be represented by up to three Commissioners.
The Commission’s responsibility is to make scientifically based recommendations designed to maintain the populations of tunas and tuna-like species under their jurisdiction at levels of abundance which will permit maximum sustainable yields.
ICCAT is comprised of four panels: Panel 1 is for tropical tunas (yellowfin, bigeye, and skipjack); Panel 2 for northern temperate species (northern albacore and Atlantic bluefin); Panel 3 for southern temperate species (southern albacore and southern bluefin); Panel 4 is for other species.
The ICCAT meets every year, and receives scientific advice, which it uses to make management recommendations, from the Standing Committee on Research and Statistics (SCRS). The SCRS is a subsidiary body of ICCAT, and its membership is comprised of scientific experts from ICCAT’s member governments. In order to make management recommendations to ICCAT, SCRS first presents a report on the status of a stock along with a series of options for achieving certain goals. The appropriate panel may then make a recommendation to ICCAT for management measures.
ICCAT can accept, reject, or modify the recommendation. ICCAT may also initiate recommendations without input from the panel. Management decisions are binding on the members, unless they object. There is a well defined system for nations to object to any management resolution approved, and any member that properly files its objections is not bound by the resolution.