The recent Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) meeting marked a return to a collaborative spirit amongst members of the regional fisheries management organization (RFMO). ISSF welcomes this renewed cooperation and consultation between members because it is essential for the effective functioning of tuna RFMOs. It must now remain the norm for IOTC.
However, the Commission once again did not address some priority topics. Specifically, IOTC failed to halt the decline of overfished yellowfin tuna, further strengthen fish aggregating device (FAD) management, and adopt stronger conservation measures for skipjack tuna and sharks. We applaud progress in other important areas, nonetheless. The IOTC adopted electronic monitoring standards, updated its compliance processes, agreed on bigeye catch limits, and modernized seabird and cetacean measures — all of which are critical for the sustainable management of Indian Ocean tuna fisheries and ecosystems.
Here is a review of the IOTC meeting outcomes against ISSF priorities as outlined in our 2023 position statement.