ANABAC-OPTUC has attended actively during the 20th Session of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC)
and would like to congratulate CPCs for their intensive work and, particularly, for having come together to rebuild the Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna stock. It should be noted that for Purse seine IOTC has approved to reduce catches of yellowfin by 15 % and also a reduction on the number of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) -23% to be added to the 15% approved by IOTC in 2015, i.e. a total of 38%, and a limitation on the number of supply vessels. All of which will meet the objectives set by the scientific Committee for the purse seine fleet (20% catch reduction). However we regret that for the rest of segments (gillnet, longline, artisanal fleets, etc.), IOTC has not approved similar goals as the ones provided for the purse seine fleet segment, which besides unfair might be a problem given the huge contribution of those fleets in the catching of Yellowfin Tuna.
ANABAC-OPTUC would also like to stress the importance of the compliance of the IOTC Resolutions by all the fleets and gears that participate in the tuna fisheries within the IOTC area of competence. Thus we congratulate that the IOTC, besides the conservation measures to reduce fishing effort on yellowfin tuna by all fleets, has also addressed other important issues, like the proposal presented by the European Union on penalties applicable in case of non-fulfilment of reporting obligations in the IOTC and the proposal presented by Seychelles to establish a Working Party on the Implementation of Conservation and Management Measures (WPICMM) to strengthening MCS and for a schedule of sanctions for non-compliance with IOTC CMMs. We think the greatest challenge in the IOTC is the compliance, therefore these measures addressing the issue of non-compliance are as necessary as the conservation measures.
We also welcome the Resolution adopted by IOTC on port state measures to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
ANABAC however regrets that IOTC has missed the opportunity to prohibit transshipments at sea for the LL fleet as proposed by the EU (as already prohibited for the Purse seine fleet) and lacks the establishment of an effective measure for the limitation of fishing capacity by all gears and thus avoiding an increasing pressure on the stocks.
Bermeo, May 30, 2016