Starting next week, the 17th Special Meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) will meet in Paris, France. It’s another year, and another chance for the international body to take greater action to prevent the extinction of bluefin tuna, and to better protect sharks, swordfish and sea turtles.
We will have a team of scientists in Paris, and they will be calling on ICCAT to do the following:
* Suspend the bluefin tuna fishery until a system is implemented that follows the scientific advice on catch levels, stops illegal fishing and protects bluefin tuna spawning areas in the Gulf of Mexico and Mediterranean.
*Increased protections for endangered and vulnerable species of shark including including hammerhead, oceanic whitetip and common thresher sharks, among other conservation measures.
*Implement protections for swordfish in the Mediterranean, including a minimum landing size, scientifically-based catch levels, incidental catch mitigation measures for undersized swordfish, and sanctions for countries using illegal driftnets.
*Protect sea turtles by putting mandatory measures in place to reduce sea turtle bycatch and requiring sea turtle interactions to be reported.
We’ll keep you posted as the meeting gets underway! In the meantime, you can help by telling the US and EU delegates at ICCAT to increase protections for sharks and bluefin tuna.
Plus, if you haven’t tuna-fied yourself for the cause yet… go for it!