These new rules develop a new recovery plan for bluefin tuna will reinforce controls, including those related to transfers of tuna from nets to cages, reports Euro Alert.
Each caging operation will have to be video-recorded. If the number or weight of bluefin tuna is found by the regional observer to be more than 10 per cent greater than that declared by the farm operator responsible for fattening the fish, the excess fish will have to be released.
Under the new rules, Member States targeting bluefin tuna will have until the beginning of 2013 to bring their fishing fleets into line with the quota allocated to them. In 2010, Member States were obliged to eliminate only 25 per cent of the discrepancy between their fishing capacity and their allocated quotas. This plan also reduces the international total allowable catches (TACs) of bluefin tuna from 13,500 tonnes to 12,900 tonnes. Accordingly, the TACs allocated to the EU were reduced from 7,113.15 in 2010 to 5,756.41 tonnes. This restriction already entered into force in 2011.
In addition, MEPs also approved the EU-Mozambique fisheries deal. The deal, which has applied provisionally since 1 February 2012, will remain in force until 31 January 2015. Under the deal the EU will pay Mozambique 980,000 per year: 520,000 for access to its waters and 460,000 to develop its fisheries policy. Moreover, the deal reduces the reference tonnage from 10,000 to 8,000 tonnes per year, but allows the ceiling to be raised if necessary. Accordingly, the number of EU vessels allowed to fish in these waters will be reduced from 89 to 75: 43 tuna seiners and 32 surface long-liners.