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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Indian Ocean: better knowledge of tuna stocks

The European Commission has funded a large-scale scientific study on Indian Ocean tuna stocks, focused on the migratory habits of these species about which there are still relatively large knowledge gaps. The aim is also to improve knowledge of stocks vital to the European tuna fleet, so as to place their management on the best available scientific bases.

In international waters and in its own, the European Union wants to base stock management on the best scientific knowledge. This requires political will, financing and listening to expressions of scientific curiosity. Since the 1980s scientists in charge of advising the IOTC had wished to learn more about the behaviour of Indian Ocean tuna stocks. Where do they go? Where do they reproduce? Where are their nurseries? And so on.

The Regional Tuna Tagging Project in the Indian Ocean was therefore put in place. It is financed by the EU’s European Development Fund, steered by the IOTC Scientific Committee and is under the responsibility of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).