ISSF advocates monitoring systems for tuna vessels


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
November 6, 2014

The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) is advocating for the use of  vessel monitoring systems (VMS) by regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) and governments globally.

ISSF released its position statement in advance off the 19th Special Meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) in Genoa, Italy, 10-17 November.

ICCAT’s measures for VMS are outdated and not in line with international best practices, contends ISSF.

“ICCAT is currently behind the curve on observer coverage,” said ISSF President Susan Jackson. “Comprehensive observer coverage is a critical component of sustainable fisheries management. Observer coverage not only aids in combating IUU fishing activities and monitoring compliance with conservation management rules and national laws, it also results in the collection of much needed data.

“The lack of 100 percent observer coverage in the purse fishery in ICCAT is a serious impediment to successfully and sustainably managing these fisheries,” she continued. “ISSF is urging ICCAT to extend 100 percent coverage of large-scale purse seine vessels to the entire year.”

ISSF also strongly supports the Standing Committee on Research and Statistics (SCRC) recommendation for the creation of a Working Group on fish aggregating devices (FADs) that involves all stakeholders and urges all ICCAT member countries to provide this data starting 1 January 2015 if they have not done so already, as required by ICCAT in 2013.

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