Recommendation to the 24th Regular ICCAT Meeting at Malta
10-17 November 2015, St. Julians, Malta
TUDAV (Turkish Marine Research Foundation) is very pleased to participate as a single Turkish civil society observer to ICCAT. TUDAV has worked proactively with regional fisheries organizations, such as GFCM, for the sustainable fisheries practices. During the 24th Annual Meeting of the ICCAT in Malta, a great amount of discussion has been made on all tuna species, swordfish, all shark species, catch limits and management strategies.
TUDAV encourages to implement electronic Bluefin Catch Documentary (eBCD) system for all the seas. It’s already known that the current paper-based system contains a number of loopholes for illegal trade. Our suggestion is that eBCD should be fully and comprehensively implemented by the 2016 fishing season.
For some species such as bigeye tuna, due to the uncertainty of the stocks, the total allowable catch (TAC) should be reduced to a level which would allow the recovery of the stocks with higher probability.
We regret that there is lack of actions to ensure sustainable management of the shark species. Blue Shark (Prionace glauca), Perbeagle Shark (Lamna nasus) and Shortfin Mako (Isarus oxyrinchus) are under the threat or at risk. For these species conservation, measures should be implemented by the ICCAT because sharks are among the most vulnerable fish species accidentally taken in high seas fisheries for tuna and swordfish. Establishing science-based catch limit for those species has crucial importance.
We believe that the ICCAT should take some actions and create an agenda for the High Sea Marine Protected Areas (HSMPA) becasue many highly migratory species are under the threat. We need HSMPAs for shared stocks, which are our common ecological heritages. Designation of HSMPAs should be one of the priorities of the ICCAT.
TUDAV also proposes the ICCAT to be more comprehensive. We suggest to include all elasmobranch species which are oceanic, pelagic and highly migratory in the definition.