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Position statement for IATTC 89th Meeting calls for well-defined harvest control rules and better FAD data
Washington, DC – 18 June 2015 – The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) has released its position statement in advance of the 89th Meeting of IATTC in Guayaquil, Ecuador 22 June to 3 July, 2015.
As top priorities, ISSF urges IATTC to adopt a more complete harvest control rules that takes the interim limit and target reference points adopted by the IATTC last year into account, strengthen its monitoring, control and surveillance and compliance tools and improve the region’s management of fish aggregating devices (FADs).
“IATTC has made progress every year and is, in fact, the only major RFMO with a closed vessel registry, but we’re hopeful more changes are on their way – especially when it comes to compliance, monitoring and control tools to combat IUU and FAD management,” said ISSF President Susan Jackson. “If the Eastern Pacific region can continue to make strides in science-based management, we believe it can serve as a leader and a model for other parts of the world in years to come. We look forward to working closely with the organization and the member nations and to advocate for proper management of tuna stocks and the protection of ocean health.”
Some additional improvements noted in the ISSF position statement include:
- The adoption of the Commission Staff’s recommended harvest control rules with specific timelines for reductions to target FMSY and rebuilding timeframes should they become necessary.
- The implementation of the recommendations from the 2014 Technical Experts Workshop on the Capacity of the Tuna-fishing Fleet in the Eastern Pacific and consideration of the outcomes of the 2014 ISSF workshop on the transfer of fishing capacity from developed to developing countries in any IATTC regional capacity management scheme. The workshop report can be accessed here.
- The collection and submission of required FAD data and the eventual adoption of science-based FAD management measures by the Commission based on these data.
- Increasing transparency around the level of compliance of members with their obligations, and further strengthening of IATTC’s monitoring, control and surveillance tools, including its VMS and IUU Vessel List measures.
- Taking immediate steps to enforce the existing resolution on shark finning, and strengthen that resolution by requiring that all sharks be landed with fins naturally attached.
- Adopting recommended simple handling practices for sharks and rays to increase their survivability and live release when incidentally caught in tuna fisheries in the EPO.
About the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF)
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) is a global coalition of scientists, the tuna industry and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the world’s leading conservation organization, promoting science-based initiatives for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of tuna stocks, reducing bycatch and promoting ecosystem health. To learn more, visit their website at iss-foundation.org.