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ICCAT

Promoting Responsible Fishing: ICCAT

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) is an international body responsible for the conservation and management of tuna and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent waters, such as the Mediterranean Sea

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Overview

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) is an international body responsible for the conservation and management of tuna and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent waters, such as the Mediterranean Sea. ICCAT is principally concerned with fishes such as tunas and swordfish, and is also responsible for species caught incidentally as bycatch in these fisheries, including sharks.

© OCEANA / Alberto Iglesias

Because the species managed by ICCAT are highly migratory, their management depends on cooperation among the countries that capture them. For example, management measures applied in just one part of a highly migratory species’ range are likely to be of limited use, while overfishing in one location could have detrimental effects on stocks shared among numerous countries . Currently there are 50 contracting parties to ICCAT, which together decide how ICCAT fisheries are regulated.

 

Oceana will be attending the 20th Special Meeting of ICCAT Commission in Vilamoura (Portugal) in November 2016. In our role as an observer, we will be calling for precautionary management of bluefin tuna and tuna-like species and sharks and for proper implementation and compliance with ICCAT management rules.

Above all, Oceana will be pushing for a robust and immediate recovery plan for Mediterranean swordfish, as current stock levels are a critical level: only 30% left in Mediterranean waters! Three decades of overfishing and a mimimum catch size well below the recommended size by scientists mean that swordfish are being caught too young (juvenile, in fishing terms) and can not reproduce.

Read more here on Mediterranean swordfish.

© OCEANA/ Keith Ellenbogen

 

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