The ICCAT 17th Special Meeting of the Commission should take strong and meaningful action to ensure a future for Atlantic bluefin tuna and sharks through the implementation of clear science-based conservation and management measures (CMMs), as well as decisive action to implement port State measures to combat illegal fishing.
The Atlantic bluefin tuna was proposed for inclusion in Appendix I under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, due to the status of the stock and the role of international trade in driving declines in the species. An Appendix I listing would have prohibited international commercial trade in the species and, had it been adopted, would have given the species time to recover. At the CITES meeting in March 2010, many Contracting Parties to the Commission (CPs) made a commitment that ICCAT would take strong action at its 17th Special Meeting in November 2010.
As the intergovernmental body responsible for the conservation and management of Atlantic bluefin tuna, ICCAT must take clear and strong action to ensure the necessary measures are in place to enable this species to recover. Such measures must be based on adequate data and sound science, as well as a clear commitment to making decisions on a precautionary basis. Based on available data and information on the status of Atlantic bluefin tuna, we recommend an immediate suspension of the fishery and no take of bluefin tuna on their spawning grounds.