EU pushes for protection at ICCAT meeting

During the ICCAT annual meeting in Agadir, Morocco this week, the European Commission’s priority is management measures for bluefin tuna in order to ensure recovery.

The multi-annual recovery plan for bluefin tuna is due for review and the stock assessment has shown early positive signs of recovery, although little is currently known about this trend. The Commission says that it will therefore be important to keep management measures for this valuable species stable, but this should not prevent ICCAT from strengthening the management and control part of the recovery plan, such as putting in place the electronic catch documentation system for bluefin tuna where necessary.

At this year's meeting the EU will also continue to propose measures for the protection of sharks including porbeagle and shortfin mako and supporting comprehensive measures for the conservation of blue and white marlin.

Another priority will be to further strengthen the management and control system of ICCAT, and the EU hopes that its proposals for an in-port inspection scheme and for the traceability of other ICCAT species will be adopted. The EU also intends to ensure that rules are properly respected.

Finally, a reliance on scientific data remains paramount on the EU's agenda and the Commission says that ICCAT must deliver on the Best Science Recommendation adopted last year.

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