Spain and UE ask for a FADs reduction in the Indian Ocean

Reducing fish aggregating devices will improve sustainability in tropical tuna fishing activities.
The 28th annual meeting of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) was held in Bangkok, Thailand.

The 28th annual meeting of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) was held in Bangkok, Thailand.

Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación

Spain and the European Union want to reduce fish aggregating devices (FADs) to improve sustainability in tropical tuna fishing activities in the Indian Ocean. This measure was discussed during the 28th annual meeting of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) held in Bangkok, Thailand.

Therefore, the number of units per vessel will be reduced by introducing biodegradable FADs and establishing a registry. The 300 FADs will be reduced to 250 by 2026 and 225 by 2028. Also, auxiliary vessels for purse seiners will be reduced from 3 per 10 vessels to 3 per 15 by 2026.

According to the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Spain has 14 freezer tuna seiners in the Indian Ocean, the largest European fleet, and 14 longliners.

The illegal finning of shark fins

On the other hand, European representation denounced the illegal finning of shark fins. Currently, EU vessels already work under preventive criteria and the idea is to extend this measure to the entire fleet operating in this regional fishing organization. Finning consists of catching sharks to cut their fins and return the bodies, still alive, to the sea.

This proposal will be again discussed in the next annual meeting as Japan expressed its inability to support it. Furthermore, the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) initiative for silky sharks will be presented to promote sustainable management of this commercially valuable shark species.

Finally, the prohibition of tropical tunas discarding measure, proposed by Seychelles, was approved, along with strengthening scientific observation. Both measures are "crucial" for achieving sustainable and fair ocean management, the Spanish Ministry indicated.

According to the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) Status of the Stocks's last report, 10% of global tuna catch needs more effective control.

In late February, the European Council presented new regulations focused on the management, conservation, and control measures in the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) convention area.

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