Tuna operators’ organisations ORTHONGEL, representing three French tuna companies, and Spanish tuna industry bodies OPAGAC and ANBAC, are adamant that their fleet sector is sticking to its commitments, as NGOs call for increased restrictions.
Opinions have been voiced at the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) conference, taking place this week as a remote meeting held for two hours every day, due to current health considerations and travel restrictions.
The French and Spanish bodies are resisting demands from NGOs for a reduction in the number of FADs per vessel, or for a complete phasing out of the use of FADs.
A proposal for a 15% reduction in yellowfin tuna catches is being discussed as part of a yellowfin recovery plan.
According to the three organisations, the European purse seiners have already reduced yellowfin catches by 24%, while Seychelles-registered vessels have reduced yellowfin catches by 15%
In a position statement by the three organisations, they point out that gill netters from Iran and Oman have since 2014 increased their catches by 80% and 130% respectively – and are calling for current regulations to be properly enforced before any new restrictions are imposed.