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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Report warns that more fishing vessels may harm tuna stock status

According to a new report on the tuna fisheries situation in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), an increase in fishing vessel numbers could threaten the stock status of target and non-target species if not carefully monitored and controlled.
The report from the European Commission's Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries highlights that the EU fleet will remain an major part of total fishing effort in the future and contribute a significant proportion of total catches.
For both the EU purse seine and longline fleets, the capacity to move throughout the WIO in order to follow the migratory patterns of tuna, implies that a regional network of fishing opportunities is critical.
The EU has four active Protocols with Comoros, Madagascar, Mozambique and Seychelles, and a Protocol with Mauritius, which is currently pending completion of EU internal procedures. The study reveals that some coastal countries, for example, Mozambique, Seychelles and Comoros, have plans to develop their longline fleets.
According to the report, the pole and line fishery in the Maldives has decreased drastically in recent years, with many pole and line vessels switching to the more profitable handline yellowfin tuna fishery. In addition, Yemen, Maldives, India and Comoros all make important contributions to total catches.
The document concludes that it is necessary to improve research, fisheries management, monitoring, control and surveillance and the functioning of regional institutions, in order to enhance sustainable fisheries management in the region.

Source: FIS