Oceana Recommendations for the ICCAT Commission meeting November 2008

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November, 2008

Most of large pelagic species like tuna, sharks and swordfish are overfished in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, due to the extremely high prices their meat or fins can reach in most of world’s markets.

Bluefin tuna is on the verge of collapse due to overfishing, mismanagement and illegal fishing, Sharks are extremely vulnerable because of slow growth and low reproduction and they have been fished in the Atlantic without any management for decades. The situation repeats itself with swordfish in the Mediterranean, where the situation can be once again summarised with overexploitation, lack of management measures, a total absence of control and catch declarations, and high rates of illegal fishing.

Oceana calls on the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) contracting parties, non contracting parties, and collaborating parties to urgently adopt effective management measures to restore and maintain the populations of tuna, swordfish and sharks at levels that will ensure a sustainable exploitation of these fisheries resources.

The global oceans have already lost more than a 90% of large predatory fish1. Time is running out for great pelagic species.

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