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Gloomy Expectations For Next Week IATTC Meeting

Low expectations and a very pessimistic mood surround the next Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) meeting, 8-12 of June, in La Jolla –California.

The Commission has not been able to implement conservation measures since 2007 due to alack of consensus regarding the tuna fishing closure, which has been proposed by the Scientific Staff to allow bigeye and yellowfin stocks to recover.

Colombia’s proposal of a staggered ban (Individual Vessel Closure) has already been considered and also rejected by the IATTC.

Sources within the tuna industry fear that Ecuador will likely be the “consensus blocker” this time. It’s no secret that meetings between Ecuadorian and IATTC officials have been taking place during the past months and the word out is that American, Japanese and European officials in the country have put pressure on Ecuador to accept IATTC’s recommendations for a 12-week tuna fishing closure  (July 15th – October 6th   2009) during next week’s meeting.

Many are skeptical of that possibility of acceptance claiming that the Ecuadorian Fisheries Sub-Secretary already said a flat “NO” to the Commission’s proposal and will insist on a 59-day (8,5 week) tuna ban.

Last year, Ecuador put into effect a 42-day tuna fishing closure as a unilateral measure, and this year it has implemented the use of sorting grids within its tuna fleet.