ISSF President Susan Jackson. (Photo Credit: ISSF)
ISFF calls for higher observer coverage in tuna fisheries
Monday, November 10, 2014, 02:20 (GMT + 9)
Ahead of the 19th Special Meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) to be held in Genoa, Italy, on 10-17 November, the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) has released its position on what it considers to be priorities for Atlantic and Mediterranean tuna fisheries.
One of these priorities is the reduction from 6 to 4 hours of the rate required to transmit data through Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMSs) by regional fisheries management organizations and national governments globally, which has been recommended by ICCAT’s Integrated Monitoring Measures (IMM) Working Group.
ISSF also calls for a total observer coverage in vessels operating in ICCAT-regulated fisheries.
“ICCAT is currently behind the curve on observer coverage,” pointed out ISSF President Susan Jackson.
“Comprehensive observer coverage is a critical component of sustainable fisheries management. Observer coverage not only aids in combating IUU [illegal unregulated unreported] fishing activities and monitoring compliance with conservation management rules and national laws, it also results in the collection of much needed data,” Jackson added.
To that end, the NGO urges ICCAT to extend 100 per cent coverage of large-scale purse seine vessels to the entire year.
Besides, the foundation advocates all ICCAT member countries to provide data on Working Group on FADs that involves all stakeholders, which had been proposed by the Standing Committee on Research and Statistics (SCRC).
Further, ISSF encourages the adoption of a comprehensive catch retention measure for all tuna and of targets consistent with SCRS advice for albacore and bluefin tuna to allow stocks to continue to rebuild.
After welcoming the successful first meeting of the Standing Working Group for Enhancing the Dialogue between Fisheries Scientists and Managers (SWGSM) in 2014, the foundation considers the Commission must take this work into consideration for the establishment of target and limit reference points.
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