Tuna RFMOs talk cooperation


Chris Dove, SeafoodSource.com contributing editor, reporting from Malaga, Spain

Published on
July 5, 2009

Elena Espinosa, Spain’s minister of environment and rural and marine affairs, called for the need to eradicate illegal tuna fishing and to promote RFMOs (Regional Fishery Management Organizations) as supporters of sustainable tuna fishing at last week’s Second Joint Tuna RFMO meeting in San Sebastian, Spain.

Espinosa underlined the need to advance the objectives established at the First Joint Tuna RFMO meeting in Kobe, Japan, in 2007, recalling commitments to improve cooperation among the world’s five tuna RFMOs: the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna, Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, Indian Ocean Tuna Commission and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

She also emphasized the need for reliable information sources and truthful scientific analysis to accurately evaluate global tuna stocks.

At last week’s meeting, the RFMOs agreed to accelerate the alignment of tuna fishing regulations worldwide. However, the RFMOs were unable to reach a consensus on whether to freeze the capacity of the global tuna fleet.

“The RFMOs are not decision-making organizations,” said Driss Mseki, chair of the Network of Tuna Agencies and Programs and ICCAT executive secretary in Madrid, Spain. “The next meeting is in two years, and there will be intermediary discussions between inter-governmental representatives of the 48 countries as to the course of action.”

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