The short season – which runs from 26 May to 24
June in the Mediterranean - is part of the recovery plan agreed at an international
level to bring back the bluefin tuna stock to sustainable levels.
European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and
Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: "The
EU has been working relentlessly to protect bluefin tuna: we have reduced our
fishing fleet, we have tightened controls and we have played a consistently
active role within the International Convention for the Conservation of
Atlantic Tuna which is responsible for managing this fishery. That helped to
bring the Eastern Atlantic Bluefin tuna stock back from the brink of
extinction. I am confident that we are on the right path."
For the first time, Croatia will be a full part of
the EU fleet, which means that the number of purse seine vessels has increased
and the EU quota for 2014 has risen by 5% to 7.939 tonnes. The other Member
States actively involved in the bluefin tuna fishery are Spain, France, Italy,
Greece, Portugal, Malta, and Cyprus.
To ensure that no overfishing is taking place, a
strict control and inspection programme has been put in place. To ensure high
control standards, this programme sets concrete control priorities and
benchmarks. It involves a significant deployment of inspectors, patrol vessels
and aircrafts coordinated by the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) and
the Member States concerned.
The European Commission also monitors catches and
analyses Vessel Monitoring System data (a satellite based control system) on a
constant basis to ensure that all rules, and particularly the individual
vessels' quotas, are fully respected.