The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) is an intergovernmental organisation that is responsible for the management of tuna and tuna-like species in the Indian Ocean. As more than a quarter of the world’s tuna originates from the Indian Ocean, management decisions taken by the IOTC have global repercussions and directly impact IPNLF members and project areas, such as the Maldives. IPNLF representatives engage with IOTC’s annual sessions to encourage policymakers to improve management practices in line with scientific advice, improve data collection, and reduce by-catch across the region.
Delivering change is no small undertaking because decisions require consensus of all 32 IOTC member countries. Nevertheless, progress in critical areas, like the development of reference points and harvest strategies, is being made. IPNLF will continue to support and advocate for improvements to the management for tuna species throughout the Indian Ocean.
The western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) supports the world’s largest tuna fishery - more than half of the global tuna catch originates from this region valued at more than $6 billion annually. Established in 2004, the WCPFC brings together 26 Member countries to sustainably manage the region’s tuna and other highly migratory species. More than half of the world’s pole-and-line tuna is caught in the WCPO, driven primarily by fisheries in Japan and Indonesia. There are also several handline, troll, and selective artisanal fisheries operating throughout, which play a key role in coastal economies and local food security.
An important part of IPNLF policy and advocacy work involves engaging with WCPFC’s annual sessions and intersessional meetings. In the run up to these important meetings we, and our partners, reach out to the governments to encourage the adoption of management improvements that will benefit the western and central Pacific’s tuna stocks and safeguard the coastal communities that depend on them.