The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), on the recommendation of its olfactory committee, set the yellowfin catch limit at 287,140 metric tonnes (MT) in 2022.

IOTC Executive Secretary Christopher O’Brien said early January that 24 of the commission members have been assigned variable catch limits in accordance with the committee’s recommendations, the European Union, Maldives, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Yemen take the lion’s share of the yellowfin tuna catch allocations.

O’Brien said the list of 2022 catch limits published for yellowfin is provisional because 2021 catch data – used to calculate 2022 catch limits – will not be available until June 2022 for all gears at the time. except for longline, and until December 2022 for longline.

“For this reason, the 2021 catch levels are assumed to be the same as 2020,” he said.

In 2022, the EU received a total of 73,146 MT of yellowfin, up from 73,945 MT in 2021. The other main beneficiaries this year are the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Yemen and Pakistan, which have received 47,195 MT, 31,066 MT. MT, 30,359 MT, 26,262 MT and 14,468 MT, respectively. The lowest allocation went to France (territories), the Philippines and the UK at 500 MT, 700 MT and 500 MT, respectively.

There are no new catch limits for Madagascar, Oman and Somalia. As for India, the catch limits are calculated on the basis of IOTC Resolution 18/01, which concerns fishing vessels targeting tunas and related species in the Indian Ocean which measure more than 24 meters in height. long – or those less than 24 meters if they are fishing outside their flag state in the IOTC area of ​​competence.

“India currently does not have such vessels meeting the criteria and therefore no catch limits apply for the country in 2022,” said O’Brien.

The IOTC continues to implement its resolution of 21/01 on an interim plan for the recovery of yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean. The resolution entered into force on December 17, 2021 and applies to all contracting and cooperating non-contracting parties except Indonesia, Iran, Madagascar, Oman and Somalia – including the catch limits are based on IOTC Resolution 19/01.

The pressure to rebuild yellowfin tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean is driven by concerns over the stock and the inability of the IOTC to rally its members to adopt a common position on how to rebuild stock levels in the Indian Ocean. ‘species.

“The Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna stock is overfished and subject to continued overfishing, with scientists warning that the stock could collapse over the next five years if fishing pressure is not reduced,” said a previous statement from a consortium of environmental NGOs.

Organizations blamed the IOTC’s failure to drastically reduce catches on its inability to base its catch limits on 2014 catch levels. Catches increased by more than 10 percent between 2014 and 2019, and limits higher catches now make the recovery plan ineffective, according to NGOs.

The IOTC adopted a resolution in June 2021 to rebuild the yellowfin tuna stock, but five contracting parties – Oman, Iran, India, Madagascar and Indonesia – opposed the adoption of the resolution.

Photo by Anthony J Rayburn / MSC