Commitment to bluefin control measures

28 May 2014
The EC has reiterated its commitment to implementing control measures for bluefin tuna during the 2014 main fishing season. Credit: Marco Care/Marine Photobank

The EC has reiterated its commitment to implementing control measures for bluefin tuna during the 2014 main fishing season. Credit: Marco Care/Marine Photobank

The European Commission has reiterated its commitment to implementing the international control measures for bluefin tuna during the 2014 main fishing season.

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.

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