Damanaki expects full compliance during bluefin tuna fishing season

17 May 2011
Damanaki expects Member States to ensure full compliance by their vessels during the bluefin tuna season. Credit: NOAA

Damanaki expects Member States to ensure full compliance by their vessels during the bluefin tuna season. Credit: NOAA

Commissioner Maria Damanaki has said that she expects Member States to take all necessary measures to ensure full compliance by their vessels during the main fishing season for bluefin tuna, which started on 15 May.

From 15 May-15 June large trawlers (purse seiners) are allowed to fish for bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic. Vessels from seven EU member states are active in this fishery (Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Malta, Cyprus). The EU's overall quota is 5, 756t for the 2011 season, reduced from 7,087t last year, of which over half is caught by the purse seiner’s fleet. 

A strict control and inspection programme to monitor and enforce all aspects of the bluefin tuna fishery has been put in place. It involves deployment of inspectors, patrol vessels and aircrafts and is managed by the European Commission, the Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA) and the Member States. The European Commission also monitors catches and analyses Vessel Monitoring System data (a satellite based control system) on an hourly basis to ensure that all rules, and particularly the individual vessels' quotas, are fully respected.

Regarding the issue of Libyan Flagged vessels, the Commission says it is closely monitoring the situation and will address it appropriately through ICCAT and the Commission’s own legal instruments.

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