CONSERVATION OF THE BLUE FIN TUNA
MANIFEST IN DEFENCE OF THE BLUE FIN TUNA IN THE MEDITERRANEAN
The world of sea angling for sport and leisure has taken note of the executive summary produced by the Standing Committee for Research and Statistics (SCRS) of the International Commission for Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT), dated Monday 19th of October 1998, which paid particular attention to the Mediterranean Red Tuna and was restated in 1999 for the 2000 season. In the light of the 1999 Mediterranean sports angling season, sea anglers feel it necessary to alert public opinion once more to the concerns of scientists and anglers regarding the state of the Red Tuna resource, bearing in mind the results of the estimation of the record catches by professional fishermen in 1996 and 1997. Throughout the last nine years, we have persistently informed the authorities of this major problem which is constantly worsening. To date, despite many promises, we are no further ahead and the proposals made by scientists are still not complied with:
the minimum size is not respected and undersized fish are being solde by many wholesalers.
the quotas set by the ICCAT are not complied with
boats of various nationalities and boats flying flags of convenience are still fishing during the closed season in the Mediterranean.
intensive fishing still takes place during the reproductive season in the spawning grounds of the Balearics.
The entire Sport and Leisure Angling community, which carries considerable economic weight through spinoffs in terms of tourism and jobs is conscious that, if nothing is done, the stocks of this invaluable resource will be totally depleted, as happened with the Southern Red Tuna. Depletion would have serious, prolonged, even catastrophic results, given the biological characteristics of the Red Tuna.
We want the ICCAT and the European Community to equip themselves with the means to ensure total compliance with the recommendations of the ICCAT Scientific Committee and we ask for:
enforcement of the minimum size (6,4 kg)
enforcement of the quotas set by ICCAT
To bring a total stop to fishing by trawlers using lines and seine nets during the breading season (late May to mid July) in the spawning grounds of the Balearics.
To organise and carry out effective checks and inspections on boats working during the closed season recommended by the ICCAT and the EU.
We want all the professional fishing boats to establish a general consensus so, that no nation will be sent to members of parliament and councillors, the supervisory authorities and the European Community for the defence and respect of our seas.
Signed on behalf of the above mentioned organisations by:
Henri Contamine, président F.F.P.M.
Hervé Quelven, président F.N.P.P.S.F.
Marcel Ordan, vice-président F.F.P.M.
Graziano Garzi, vice-président F.N.P.P.S.F.
This manifest has received the support of:
The European Anglers' Alliance (EAA)
The Fédération Internationale de la Pêche Sportive en Mer (FIPS/M)