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Time to Tackle What's Really in the Net
The Pew Environment Group calls on members of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) to take the following critical actions at the 22nd Regular Meeting of the commission:
1. Strengthen and Control Against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing
1.1 Implement and fund an electronic bluefin catch documentation (eBCD) system for bluefin tuna.
1.2 List vessels known to have engaged in illegal driftnet activities on ICCAT's IUU vessel list.
1.3 Improve port State measures (PSM).
1.4 Require unique vessel identifiers (UVI) for all vessels operating in the ICCAT area.
2. End Overfishing and Support Sustainable Fishing Methods
2.1 Immediately end overfishing of yellowfin and South Atlantic albacore.
2.2 Mandate gear modifications such as the compulsory use of single monofilament nylon traces and prohibit steel or wire traces in ICCAT fisheries.
2.3 Manage use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) in the Gulf of Guinea.
2.4 Investigate spawning and nursery areas.
3. Conserve Threatened Shark Species
3.1 Prohibit the retention of porbeagle and silky sharks and establish concrete, precautionary catch limits for shortfin mako sharks.
3.2 Prohibit the removal of shark fins at sea.
4. Strengthen the Commission
4.1 Improve voting procedures.
4.2 Strengthen the treaty.
4.3 Follow through on Kobe III commitments.
ICCAT, like other regional fisheries management organizations, faces a multitude of challenges managing the fisheries in its convention area. As a priority at the 2011 annual meeting, the Pew Environment Group recommends that ICCAT members take action to strengthen controls against IUU fishing of Atlantic bluefin tuna and other species, end overfishing and support sustainable fishing methods, conserve threatened sharks, and strengthen ICCAT's charter to follow through on internationally agreed commitments.
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