In February 2016 representatives from 18 Indian Ocean Coastal States (IOCS) gathered in Paradise Island Resort, Maldives, for an important workshop on Harvest Control Rules.
The session was convened by the Ministry of Fisheries & Agriculture (Maldives) with support from NGOs (IPNLF, WWF, ISSF, MSC), the Maldives Marine Research Centre and IPNLF Members (M&S, World Wise Foods and Sainsbury’s).
The workshop aimed to advance participants' understanding of Management Strategy Evaluations (MSE) as a tool to develop harvest strategies for tuna stocks under the jurisdiction of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC). This dialogue built upon momentum already generated in previous workshops, ahead of the IOTC Commission meeting in La Reunion, May 2016.
During the two-day meeting, experts delivered presentations on key concepts, followed by discussions among participants on fisheries management with an emphasis on the need to ensure effective management strategies of the shared tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean.
As a direct result of the workshop, the Maldives developed a proposal for the upcoming IOTC meeting with the input of several other coastal states. So far, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique and Tanzania are co-sponsoring this important initiative, and efforts to gain the support of other countries are underway. For full details of the meeting agenda, speakers and participants see the workshop report.
In tandem to this effort, IPNLF have been working with our Members and others partners to encourage the adoption of the skipjack HCR at the IOTC annual meeting commencing on May 23. This would be an important step towards ensuring the responsible management of the resource and a vibrant future for the coastal communities that depend on these fisheries. Please see our 2016 IOTC position statement for more information.