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Friday, April 3, 2009

Indian Ocean tuna commission a failure - again

That's the point of having a commission if it's not going to do anything ah?
Indian Ocean tuna commission a failure - again
03 Apr 2009 Bali, Indonesia, WWF

The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission – in the spotlight as some coastal fishers whose stocks it has failed to protect turn to piracy instead - is continuing in its unbroken record of failure to regulate one of the world's largest tuna fisheries.

The commission, which has just concluded its 13th meeting in Bali, failed to set catch limits for any of the fisheries it is supposed to be regulating, failed to agree any new measures to restrain rampant over-fishing, failed to set effective rules on shark finning and put off a much needed decision to reform itself.

The meeting also failed to make adequate progress on proposals to ban shark-finning by requiring sharks to be landed whole – with fins naturally attached - rather than with the existing limited restriction of having a whole shark to fins ratio of just five percent, making it hard to identify how many sharks of which potentially endangered species are being taken in what may be one of the most wasteful and unsustainable fisheries.

Other controversial measures were a failure to extend the high seas large scale drift net ban to coastal waters, deferring consideration of vital Catch Documentation Scheme improvements and failure to adopt a realistic observer program.

“Many member States appear to be operating on a hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil basis which supports continuing rampant non-compliance with even a lax management regime,” said Jorge. “No-one knows what is really going on, few seem to care, States report their catches late or not at all and the scientists that are supposed to be the cornerstone of the system are doing the best they can with the scraps of data they are given.”

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