Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) would like to congratulate the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and the heads of delegation who attended this year’s virtual Commission Meeting on agreeing to hold a special session of the Commission in early 2021 to address the ongoing problem of yellowfin tuna overfishing.
The special session, which received widespread support from IOTC members, will take place in the second week of March 2021. The objective of the special session will be to adopt a conservation and management measure for the management and sustainable use of yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean.
The yellowfin tuna recovery plan put in place by the IOTC in 2016 has failed, for the third year in a row, to curb catches of the species listed as “near threatened” on the IUCN Red List. Scientists have stated that the stock is headed for collapse if nothing is done to reduce fishing pressure. BLUE called for an emergency meeting to save the yellowfin stock in a report published last month.
Charles Clover, Executive Director of BLUE, said: “We applaud the IOTC and its members for recognising the urgency of the situation and we call on the heads of delegation to use the meeting in March to finally adopt an effective and equitable recovery plan for yellowfin tuna that will bring about the necessary catch reduction of at least 25 per cent.”