Today(April 11, 2023), the European Union published four ambitious proposals for the next Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) session taking place from May 8 to 12, 2023. The objective is to improve the conservation of tuna and the management of fisheries. According to the IOTC Scientific Committee, the current situation of the stock and level of fishing in the Indian Ocean are not sustainable. Along with the new proposals, the EU has tabled an objection to the IOTC Resolution 23/02 on the management of drifting Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs).
Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, said: “The EU is committed to the sustainable management of fisheries at global level. With our proposals for the IOTC, we aim to improve the conservation of tuna and drastically reduce the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities. We are also proposing a revised resolution on drifting Fish Aggregating Devices as we consider that some provisions of the resolution adopted in the February are not implementable and unclear and not based on scientific advice. The EU wishes that in the coming session IOTC Members will work in a cooperative manner and through consensus.”
In addition to the submission of the improved proposal on FADs, the EU has also decided to object to the IOTC Resolution 23/02, adopted by majority vote in February, against all IOTC Members fishing on drifting FADs. As a result, many IOTC members have lodged an objection to that resolution, including the EU, the Comoros, Oman, Kenya, the Seychelles and the Philippines