The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) annual meeting, held last week in Agadir, Morocco, came to a close yesterday, November 19.
ICCAT is an intergovernmental fishery organization dedicated to protecting tuna and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean. ICCAT’s responsibilities extend to any other fish species caught in tuna fisheries.
This year, the Commission proved to be strong, as it resisted demands for an increase in catch limits for Atlantic bluefin tuna. They voted on Monday to keep the current strict limits. The quota will only rise from 12,900 metric tons a year to 13,500–still in line with scientific recommendations.
“It is always difficult for this commission to make decision. It has 48 members and the views are very varied,” said Masanori Miyahara, the head of the Japanese delegation and chairman of ICCAT. “After a long wait, the bluefin tuna is showing signs of recovery–we have to move step by step and follow scientific advice.”
Unfortunately, no additional protection was granted to endangered shark populations.
Oceana described the decision as “baffling” and Miyahara was also disappointed in the lack of protection for porbeagle sharks.
Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.