IATTC extends closed season for tuna fishing
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) praised the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC)’s recent decision to extend tuna fishing closures in the Eastern Pacific by 10 days.
At the group’s meeting in Mexico City in July, the 21 governments responsible for collectively managing tuna fishing in the Eastern Pacific agreed to a multi-year conservation plan.
Starting this year, governments will implement a 72-day fishing closure – an increase of 10 days – for every large-scale purse-seine tuna vessel in the Eastern Pacific. The closure will take place every year through 2020, according to WWF.
The decision is in line with scientific advice for skipjack, yellowfin, and bigeye tuna populations, according to WWF LAC Fisheries Director Pablo Guerrero.
“[This] is an important step toward the sustainable management of this fishery and moving the region away from the pitfalls of relying on short-term conservation that needs to be renegotiated every year,” Guerrero said.
The new measure agreed to by IATTC members will also improve the management of fish aggregating devices (FADs), according to WWF. Most commercial purse-seine vessels will be limited to deploying 450 FADs at any one time, while other vessels will be allowed fewer FADs based on their size, WWF said in a statement.
In addition, all vessels must begin reporting the movement of all objects so that scientists have access to the data.