By SeafoodSource staff
Published on Tuesday, November 12 2013
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is calling on the E.U. to oppose an increase in the total allowable catch (TAC) for Atlantic bluefin tuna that the WWF fears will be on the table at an upcoming meeting.
The WWF said the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) is planning a meeting for 18 November, where WWF said some parties are looking to increase the stock's TAC above the established 13,400 metric tons (MT).
In a letter to Maria Damanaki, commissioner for maritime affairs and fisheries, the WWF called for the commissioner to stand firm on the current TAC, which the WWF said is "aligned with scientific advice."
WWF acknowledged that new data from 2012 indicates the bluefin stocks are recovering, but said right now ICCAT doesn't have a precise enough measuring tool to confirm this.
"In the absence of a new stock assessment, the ICCAT scientific committee does not currently support a substantial change in the TAC, and recommends keeping it at around recent levels (12,900 MT to 13,500 MT) to enable the stock to fully recover by 2022," WWF wrote in its letter.
WWF called on Damanaki personally to preserve sustainable, science-based tuna TACs.
"As a Fisheries Minister of an E.U. Member State, you have the power to support the European Union in achieving this goal," WWF wrote. "As such, we strongly urge you to resist any requests to increase the TAC of the (tuna)."