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Oceans and fisheries
News announcement12 March 2021Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries1 min read

Despite the setback at the IOTC Special Session, EU remains strongly committed to a rebuilding plan for yellowfin tuna

Fishing vessel © PerErik/Adobe Stock
Fishing vessel © PerErik/Adobe Stock

The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) discussed how to rebuild the yellowfin tuna stock in the Indian Ocean during a special session, which took place from 8 to 12 March.

The EU had asked to such a special meeting to be held to adopt specific measures addressing the situation of the yellowfin tuna stock. The EU’s clear objective was to have a revised plan for yellowfin tuna adopted that would effectively reduce the catches of this stock in line with the recommendations of the IOTC Scientific Committee.

Unfortunately, and to the deep regret of the EU, the IOTC Commission was not able to agree on a new measure during its Special Session this week.

The EU made considerable efforts to find a solution, working closely with a number of other IOTC members. The EU presented three successive proposals to accommodate as much as possible the requests for flexibility raised by different IOTC members while safeguarding the overall objective of reducing catches to sustainable levels in line with the scientific advice. Unfortunately, even a joint proposal by the EU and the Maldives could not gather sufficient support from other parties.

The EU will now redouble its efforts to have IOTC adopt a plan to protect yellowfin tuna during the annual meeting in June.

In the meantime, the EU will continue to respect the current framework provided by the IOTC Resolution 19/01 and the catch limits associated to it, while urging other IOTC members to do the same.


Publication date
12 March 2021
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries