Pew commends COFI for ‘defining moment’ toward sustainable management of Atlantic bluefin tuna

The updated policy will result in long-term sustainability

Phil Do Lupo, PortugalAnd the November 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Pew Charitable Trusts today commended the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) for adopting a modern fisheries management plan for Atlantic bluefin tuna, one of the world’s most valuable fish.

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas — a regional fisheries management organization responsible for managing bluefin tuna, tropical tuna and other open ocean species in the Atlantic — has adopted a management procedure that uses science-based data to inform managers of how much bluefin tuna can be caught each year. and shifting the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas from reactive decisions based on short-term needs to proactive rules designed to secure long-term sustainable fisheries.

By adopting a management measure, also known as a harvest strategy, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas is moving away from the annual, often politicized, catch quota negotiations that have contributed to years of decline and overfishing of Atlantic bluefin tuna. Significantly, the management measure for western Atlantic populations will allow the species to achieve a healthy level and stabilize the recent recovery of a population of bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean that have been severely depleted.

Grant GallanA senior official with the Pew International Fisheries Project issued the following statement:

“After nearly a decade of negotiations at the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna, the adoption of a management measure for Atlantic bluefin tuna has become a defining moment in fish stock management.

Atlantic bluefin tuna, where commercial fisheries are valued more than $1 billion Every year, it was the poster child for poaching. For years, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna and its 52 member governments have adopted quotas well above the scientifically recommended limits. But thanks for driving from CanadaEuropean Union JapanAnd the United Statewho have all championed efforts to restructure the management of Atlantic bluefin tuna, there is now an ICCAT-wide commitment to adopting a long-term and sustainable vision for the fishery.

“Now, despite significant global progress — management actions adopted earlier this year in the Indian Ocean and today in the Atlantic — the Pacific remains the last region in the world without any management measures governing fishing vessels targeting internationally managed stocks.

That could change when the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) meets from November 27 to December 3 in Da Nang, Vietnam. At the meeting, WCPFC members should immediately adopt and implement a management measure for Pacific skipjack tuna, which make up 35% of the world’s total commercial tuna catch and are a critically important source of food, livelihoods, and government revenue.

“Having the Western Pacific Fisheries Commission adopt such a Pacific hopping policy would continue a paradigm shift in how countries around the world control fishing – and would be a turning point toward sustainable management across the world’s tuna fisheries.”

Pew Charitable Trusts harness the power of knowledge to solve today’s toughest problems. For more information, visit

SOURCE The Pew Charitable Trusts

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