Tuna fisheries managers on hot seat
The Seychelles 1st Tuna Conference concluded on Saturday with calls for Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) members to more closely follow scientific directives for tuna conservation and management.
The three-day conference focused on the impact of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, piracy and climate change on tuna sustainability. The central theme was the immediate need for more active participation on the part of tuna-fishing nations operating in the Indian Ocean.
Increased data reporting, greater involvement from developing coastal nations and research techniques to mitigate and eliminate tuna bycatch were the event’s key conclusions.
“What we are seeing today is the start of a very long initiative. We are doing our best to ensure sustainable tuna fisheries but we cannot do it alone,” said Joel Morgan, Republic of Seychelles minister of environment, natural resources and transport.
Echoing his statement, Orlando Fachada of the European Commission’s Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Directorate added: “It’s important the IOTC meet its mandate. We believe that right now, the IOTC is not performing well.”
Hosted by the Republic of Seychelles Government, the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation and MWBrands, 120 people from more than 20 countries attended the event ahead of tuna leaders’ follow-up meeting in March.
Last week, ISSF President Susan Jackson talked to SeafoodSource about the event.