Relentless overfishing has decimated North Atlantic bluefin tuna in both the Eastern and Western stocks. Despite clear scientific warnings, ICCAT Contracting Parties have repeatedly failed to restore and properly manage these stocks.
The serious risks facing these stocks led to a proposed trade ban under Appendix 1 listing on the Convention on Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) in March of this year. Though the ban did not pass, this proposal highlights the urgent need to reverse the decades-long decline of bluefin tuna at the international level.
Contracting Parties must take action at this ICCAT Meeting to ensure a future for bluefin tuna. This meeting offers a key opportunity to end destructive and illegal fishing, establish science-based fisheries management, and protect spawning grounds.