European Commission worried about IATTC failure

23 Jul 2014
IATTC failed to adopt any conservation measures on bluefin tuna. Credit: NOAA

IATTC failed to adopt any conservation measures on bluefin tuna. Credit: NOAA

The European Commission has expressed its disappointment with the outcomes of the 87th Annual meeting of the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), which finished on 18 July in Lima, Peru.

The Commission says it is particularly worried that IATTC could not reach consensus on the adoption of a clear procedure for the appointment of the Executive Director. The current Director's mandate expires on 26 August 2014 and then the organisation will be faced with legal uncertainty, due to a number of parties trying to push for the continuation of the current Director's mandate without a clear, transparent and merit based procedure as requested by the EU.

IATTC also failed to adopt any conservation measures on bluefin tuna, rejected the proposed EU retention ban on the endangered Silky Sharks species and fins naturally attached, and rejected the EU proposal on Port State Measure at the last moment. IATTC also failed to reach consensus on another proposal which would have strengthened the fight against IUU fishing.

Only the EU proposal to strengthen the VMS system and the US proposal to introduce an IMO number for all vessels were adopted at this meeting.

Despite a dedicated workshop being established in April to review the implementation of the 2005 action plan on fleet fishing capacity management in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, no progress was made on the design and adoption of a capacity management plan for the region.

An extraordinary meeting has been called for the end of October to try to solve the stalemate on the election of the Director, adopt a conservation measure on bluefin tuna and make progress on capacity issues.

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