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Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna Takes Steps Forward

18 October 2016

EU - The 23rd annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) met from 10 to 13 October 2016 in Kachsiung, Chinese Taipeh.

The EU is pleased by the progress made and welcomes science-based decisions on the permitted catch levels for southern bluefin tuna for 2017 and for 2018-2020, as well as the strengthening of the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and the ban on large-scale driftnets.

The EU regrets that seabird mitigation measures were not adopted due to a lack of sufficient support.

In line with the CCSBT Management Procedure and as recommended by its scientists, the total allowable catch (TAC) for southern bluefin tuna was rolled over at 17,341 tonnes to 2017 and increased by 3000 tonnes for the period 2018-2020.

For the EU, the decision entails a slight increase of its by-catch quota from 10 to 11 tonnes. The EU also welcomes the fact that the allocations for developing coastal countries were increased to account for their legitimate fishing aspirations.

Progress was also achieved in the fight against IUU fishing through the revision of the IUU listing procedure. In addition, a Resolution prohibiting the use of large-scale driftnets in high seas will further help to increase the sustainability of Southern Bluefin tuna fisheries.

Unfortunately, a proposal for seabird mitigation measures once again did not find consensus. However, the CCSBT's Scientific Committee was tasked to examine further ecosystem aspects of the southern bluefin tuna fisheries, notably regarding seabirds.

The meeting also saw the adoption of decisions on data management, compliance, financial management and scientific measures, contributing to the sound management of the southern bluefin tuna stock.


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