US Wins New Conservation Measures for Pacific Tuna

Tropical tuna in the eastern Pacific Ocean gained renewed protections and science-based catch levels under resolutions advocated by the United States. They were adopted by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission at its virtual meeting in October. The IATTC also established a framework for foreign fishing vessels to face spot inspections when they enter the port of another member nation.

The IATTC’s actions will help conserve and sustainably manage tuna and other highly migratory species that cross international boundaries. They also improve oversight of international fisheries to reduce illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, a U.S. priority. The move furthers the effort to close the world’s ports to illegal fishing and give consumers additional confidence that their seafood is safe and sustainable.

“This is a critical step forward for the conservation of species that support important commercial fisheries and play a prominent role in the marine ecosystem,” said Ryan Wulff, who leads the U.S. delegation to the IATTC, and serves as Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries for NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region. “We worked through challenging negotiations—all in a virtual setting. In the end, we achieved consensus on a number of important conservation and management measures for the eastern Pacific Ocean.”