The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) has, on the recommendation of its scientific committee, set the total catch limit for yellowfin tuna at 287,140 metric tons (MT) for 2022.
IOTC Executive Secretary Christopher O’Brien said in early January that 24 of the commission’s members have been allocated varying catch limits in line with committee recommendations, with the European Union, Maldives, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Yemen taking the major share of the yellowfin tuna catch allocations.
In 2022, the E.U. has been allocated a total of 73,146 MT of yellowfin tuna, down from 73,945 MT in 2021. The other top beneficiaries this year include Maldives with 47,195 MT, Sri Lanka with 31,066 MT, and Seychelles with 30,359 MT.
As for India, catch limits are calculated based on IOTC Resolution 18/01, which pertains to fishing vessels targeting tuna and tuna-like species in the Indian Ocean that are more than 24 meters long – or those under 24 meters if they fish outside their flag state within IOTC’s area of competence.
The IOTC is pursuing implementation of its resolution on 21/01 on an interim plan for rebuilding the Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna stock. The resolution came into effect on 17 December, 2021, and applies to all contracting and cooperating non-contracting parties except Indonesia, Iran, Madagascar, Oman, and Somalia – whose catch limits are based on IOTC Resolution 19/01.
The push to rebuild yellowfin tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean is driven by concerns related to the stock and the IOTC’s inability to rally its members into taking a common position on how to build the species’ stock levels.
The IOTC adopted a resolution in June 2021 to rebuild the yellowfin tuna stock, but five contracting parties – Oman, Iran, India, Madagascar, and Indonesia – objected to the adoption of the resolution.
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