Scientists from French and Spanish institutes have met European tuna operators to discuss at a European level challenges facing stakeholders.
Representatives of Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) in France and, the Instituto español de oceanografia (IEO) and AZTI in Spain participated and explained their requirements in coping with the growing challenges of applied science in fisheries – and also their concerns.
Several of them were critical of that models presented at RFMOs as becoming increasongly complex, preventing in-depth study deeper of each proposal and topic. They also pointed out that their growing obligations, among which publishing in peer review journals, leave little time for RFMOs stocks assessments and other tasks
Industry representatives also had the chance to voice their desire for technical and scientific evolution in fisheries science. In particular this refers to strengthened data collection and reporting processes in purse seine fisheries, deeper integration of the data gathered by purse seiners in stock evaluations, production of ex-post evaluations of management measures in international fisheries governance bodies (RFMOs) to verify if they fulfil their initial objectives, and dedication of further research to data deficient fisheries in order to improve tropical tuna stock assessments and fisheries impacts studies.
‘This meeting allowed scientists and the sector to meet at European level, which is especially important considering the lack of physical meetings during the COVID crisis,’ said Anne-France Mattlet, director of Europêche Tuna Group, who is positive about this joint effort to improve ocean governance.
‘There were interesting debates and view exchanges which I trust will help matching the needs from both parties.’
The Europêche Tuna Group is comprised of the main three tuna freezer purse-seine organisations in Europe, OPAGAC-AGAC, ANABAC and ORTHONGEL, The forum plans meet again next year.