Aquaculture for all

Annual Meeting Of ICCAT


EU - At the recent EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting, the ministers held an exchange of views as regards the annual meeting of the InternationalCommission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) from 17 to 27 November in Paris.

A large majority of delegations recalled that the EU, as a contracting party of ICCAT, is already part of the ICCAT long-term bluefin tuna recovery plan which has the objective of recovery of the stock by 2022 with 60 per cent probability provided the TAC remains at 13500t/year and that the plan is fully complied with.

The ICCAT scientific advice suggests that the stock is recovering in line the plan. Delegations therefore did not see any reason to reduce the TAC as suggested by the Commissioner in order to increase the probability of recovery.

In preparation for the ICCAT meeting in 2008, the Council adopted a decision for the establishment of the Community position in the ICCAT (14863/08). The Commission will propose shortly a renewal of this position for the 2010 meeting, with an extension of the time limit in paragraph 2.2 of the annex (originally limited to 2008 and 2009). This paragraph defines Community action to limit fleet overcapacity and implement reductions in the fishing seasons, the limitation of derogations and the control measures to be undertaken.

The position is established on the basis of a recent ICCAT scientific opinion pointing out signs of stock recovery.

The ICCAT is responsible for the conservation of tuna and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas. The management competences of ICCAT thus cover, among others, such species as bluefin tuna, swordfish and tropical tunas. The organisation was established in 1969 and has 42 Contracting Parties, including the EU, the United Kingdom and France (the latter two on behalf of their overseas territories).

The annual meeting of ICCAT is closely linked to the management of bluefin tuna stocks, which has significant financial implications for the European tuna fishing fleets and tuna fattening farms.

This annual meeting follows a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) on March 2010 where it was proposed by Monaco, with the support of the EU, that the level of protection of bluefin tuna be increased.

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