Atlantic bluefin tuna population recovery
Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks are beginning to make a recovery
According to a stock assessment by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), the population of Atlantic bluefin tuna is recovering.
But this doesn't mean that quotas will be increased yet. In 2010, Asian nations successfully argued against a proposed ban of the export of bluefin tuna, stating that quota-setting international fisheries bodies should focus on rebuilding the stocks, resulting in ICCAT cutting the annual global quota by 40% to 14,900 tonnes and down to 14,200 tonnes in 2011.
Now, environmentalists are urging the 48 nations in ICCAT to support scientific recommendations to keep the current quotas for the next three years to ensure the population recovers by 2022.
Despite stock improvements, illegal overfishing still threatens the species, according to ICCAT. It is calling for a reduction in the number of boats allowed to fish and improvement of data collected to ensure stronger science for the next assessment in 2015.
Amanda Nickson, director of the Global Tuna Conservation Campaign, Pew Environment Group, said: “This is the first year where they will have to stick to science even if it does look like there is a bit of good news. So it's important from our perspective we retain pressure on ICCAT to listen to that science.”
ICCAT is also pushing for increased protection of other threatened species including shortfin mako, porbeagle sharks and blue and white marlin.
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