Bluefin Tuna. Improved management and control measures in the Atlantic and Mediterranean – MEPs updated the conservation and control measures in the ICCAT area as well as the multi-annual management plan for bluefin tuna in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.
The plenary gave the final green light to the incorporation into EU law of the recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) for this area. The House approved the new bill with 568 votes in favour, 44 against and 14 abstentions.
In order to make the EU rules as up-to-date as possible, MEPs made improvements to the Commission’s proposal concerning several species, such as tropical tuna, albacore tuna, swordfish, sailfish, blue and white marlin, shortfin mako shark and sea turtles. For example, to support the stock assessment process, MEPs call on EU countries to improve the collection of data on catches of different species, including live and dead discards, and to report them annually.
Countries with a bluefin tuna quota will also have to set up a monitoring, control and inspection plan and, if this quota is allocated to recreational fishing, they will have to authorise vessels for this catch.
This legislation had already been agreed with EU governments and approved by the Fisheries Committee.
Rapporteur Clara Aguilera (S&D, ES) said:
“We have updated the rules as much as possible so that the EU fishing fleet has the same conditions and measures applied to third country fishing fleets operating in the area, which is essential for a level playing field. We have included, among others, rules to improve data collection, restrictions and bans on recreational fishing and rules for the transfer of bluefin tuna quotas”.
The text must now be approved by the Council and will become law after publication in the Official Journal of the EU.
Bluefin Tuna. Improved management and control measures in the Atlantic and Mediterranean