Data loading...

Who Will Get Most Of The Indian Ocean Tuna Stock?

Important discussions about the allocation of the Indian Ocean tuna stocks are being held in Oman this week, which will determine countries’ catch quotas and ability to sell fishing licenses.
Experts from the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), the governing body that manages the region’s tuna resources, are gathered to deliberate the tuna allocation criteria, with the goal of finding a formula that satisfies all stakeholders.
“Coastal states, many of them still developing their capabilities, are the ones that have most at stake, as they seek to ensure food security for their communities and take full advantage of their privileged access to the resources,” the IOTC told local media.
Oman, bordered by the Arabian Sea on its southeast coast, says most of their tuna production is consumed in the local market and exports do not exceed 0.5%. It claims to have produced 216,000 tons of tuna during the last decade, with yellowfin tuna accounting for about half of this volume at 102,000 tons. On an annual basis, assuming that catches were stable, this works out to about 21,600 tons of tuna total or 10,200 tons of yellowfin each year.
Total tuna catches in the Indian Ocean reached about 830,000 tons in 2011 – roughly 21% of the global tuna catch – and about 300,000 tons were yellowfin, according to the most recent IOTC data.
Adding to the difficulty of creating a fair system to divide the region’s tuna, the IOTC must also base their decisions on the status of the stocks to protect the fisheries’ sustainability.