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Second IATTC Tuna Fishing Ban Begins

The 2 month ban from the IATTC on commercial tuna fishing in the eastern Pacific Ocean started on Monday November 18th and will be in action until January 18th next year. Under the agreement, commercial tuna vessels will be forbidden from fishing yellowfin, bigeye, bluefin and skipjack tuna in the region. 

The IATTC, referring to the current ban and the first ban implemented from July 29th to September 28th 2013, stipulates: “Each IATTC Member, Cooperating non-Member (CPC) shall ensure that every one of its vessels ceases to fish during one of these two periods, except that each size-class 4 vessels with an observer on board may make one fishing trip of up to 30 days during its declared closure period.”  So this ban excludes smaller artisanal tuna vessels with a tonnage below 400 tons.

With the biggest fleet fishing for tuna in the EPO, Ecuador saw 51 vessels of its 106-strong fleet out of action in the first IATTC 60-day ban. The remaining ships have returned to port to halt operations during the current closure. Despite the ban, Ecuador’s skipjack catch from January to September this year showed considerable increase compared to the same period in 2012.

The IATTC regulation measures are ordered to avoid the over-exploitation of tuna species that have declined in stocks in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO), mainly yellowfin. According to IATTC statistics, in the first six month of 2013, 248,950 tons of tuna were caught in the EPO.