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WWF Slams 'Failed' Tuna Regulations

BALI, INDONESIA - A recent meeting of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission has been accused of failing to regulate one of the world's largest tuna fisheries.

The commission, which has just concluded its 13th meeting in Bali, failed to set catch limits for any of the fisheries it is supposed to be regulating and failed to agree any new measures to restrain rampant over-fishing, says the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

IOTC scientists, grappling with dangerously inadequate information on all stocks, had warned that yellowfin tuna was “probably” overfished.

"Most of the world's large tuna fisheries are poorly managed by bodies that commission scientific assessments and then set catch quotas that ignore them, but the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission is the most dysfunctional of all," said WWF International Marine Director Miguel Jorge.

“Another stumbling block in the negotiations has been EU intransigence on large Spanish and French fleets maintaining their swordfish catch levels at dangerously high levels.

“At the same time the commission has just been wringing its hands on the piracy issue, with a resolution failing to note that the pirates now attacking merchant shipping are from coastal communities that got into the aggressive habit of trying to defend their fishing livelihoods from illegal fishing by foreign fishing boats.”

the Fish Site Editor

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