Launch of Tuna Compliance Network to Combat IUU Fishing

Washington, D.C. (April 02, 2017) — Compliance officers from the five tuna Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs) gathered at the Port Authority for an inception workshop March 27-29 in Vigo, Spain.

The meeting marked the launch of the Tuna Compliance Network hosted by IMCS Network with support from the Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project, funded by the Global Environment Facility and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Workshop participants defined operating rules for the Network and discussed the management and integration of data from RFMO members, the upkeep of adequate records of all vessels authorized to fish, and the implementation of Port State Measures. The Tuna Compliance Network will support the work of compliance officers by facilitating cooperation among themselves and other experts and by developing tools for better communication and training. This initiative supports efforts to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing by strengthening compliance and monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) mechanisms.

Effective MCS is key in preventing IUU fishing, which threatens the effective conservation and sustainable management of fish stocks and causes significant economic and social losses. Tuna are some of the most valuable fish on the market, especially long-lived species such as Bluefin tuna, making them more likely to be targeted by IUU operations.