Better scientific advice on tuna sought

25 Oct 2011
Maria Damanaki. ©European Union, 2010

Maria Damanaki. ©European Union, 2010

Commissioner Damanaki has written to Mr Hazin, Chairman of ICCAT, to explore the possibilities of consolidating and further improving scientific advice.

In her letter, Commissioner Damanaki highlights the need for better scientific advice, notably by enhancing and broadening data collection obligations and ensuring their compliance, developing scientific capacity and rationalising the process for the formulation of scientific advice and by basing it strictly on the precautionary and ecosystem approaches.

Both the content and the process for the delivery of scientific advice should be addressed: data availability and capacity-building for compliance and data collection, in particular for developing states, are key to the quality of scientific advice. Moreover, financial contributions to enhance all aspects related to scientific advice should be used in the best possible way.

While recognising that steps have been taken, in the context of ICCAT, to enhance the organisational arrangements for the delivery of scientific advice, Commissioner Damanaki is convinced that progress is possible, for instance using peer review mechanisms for scientific advice delivered by the Standing Committee on Research and Statistics (SCRS) and launching an independent assessment of the functioning of SCRS.

Commissioner Damanaki says that "Science is the cornerstone for responsible fisheries management decisions that ensure the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources and the availability of fish for future generations worldwide. Based on international law and all the relevant recommendations, we should make sure that management measures are based on the best available scientific advice."

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