India objects to new observer proposal to IOTC, for fear of conflict of interests

Published on
November 26, 2019

India has submitted its objection to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission over the granting of observer status to the Global Tuna Alliance, IOTC said in a circular released last week.

Global Tuna Alliance is a group of retailers and tuna supply chain companies having business and trade interests in tuna fisheries. Meanwhile, the objectives of IOTC are to promote cooperation among its members through appropriate management, the conservation and optimum utilization of tuna stocks, and encouraging sustainable development of tuna fisheries under the IOTC agreement, India said in a letter sent to IOTC.

“India is of the view that IOTC should not encourage trade and business bodies to participate in the IOTC processes, as it may attract potential conflict of interests between the mandates of IOTC and such bodies having trade and business interests,” the letter said. “Therefore, India does not agree to the proposal and request of the Global Tuna Alliance to participate as an Observer to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission processes.”

The matter is now subject to a decision by the IOTC, out of session, the commission said, asking its members to submit their opinion on the objection by 13 December. 

India’s Department of Fisheries had on 30 August sent an objection to the IOTC’s interim plan for rebuilding the yellowfin tuna stock in the Indian Ocean. The scheme had been adopted at the 23rd session of the IOTC held at Hyderabad, India, in June.

Photo courtesy of Urike Richter/Shutterstock

Reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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