PALLONE INTRODUCES LEGISLATION URGING A STRONG U.S. STANCE ON PROTECTING ATLANTIC BLUEFIN TUNA
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), a senior member of the House Fisheries and Oceans Subcommittee, introduced a resolution today urging the U.S. to take a strong stance in seeking compliance from countries that are in violation of conservation and management recommendations, which were adopted for Atlantic bluefin tuna and other species by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), and to pursue strengthened conservation and management measures.
In 1981, after recognizing the decline of bluefin tuna stocks resulting from years of intense fishing pressure, the U.S. and other nations fishing in the Western Atlantic Ocean adopted and fully implemented restrictive conservation and management measures to relieve pressure on these stocks. Despite adherence to these recommendations, bluefin stocks continued to decline, prompting the development and full implementation of a science-based recovery plan for Western Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks.
"Scientists across the world agree that the Atlantic bluefin tuna stock is in imminent danger of collapse," Pallone said. "Overfishing in the eastern Atlantic can adversely affect the recovery of western bluefin tuna in our region because of mixing between the stocks. This resolution encourages the U.S. to take a strong role in strengthening the conservation and management of these vulnerable stocks."
The United States, along with 42 other nations, is party to the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. The Convention, signed in 1966, established the ICCAT to coordinate international research and develop conservation and management recommendations for Atlantic bluefin tuna. In November 2008, the U.S. delegation to ICCAT will travel to Antalya, Turkey for the 20th regular meeting of the ICCAT.
"By passing this resolution, the House will encourage U.S. action at the November 2008 meeting to address the issue of non-compliance by nations fishing for bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea," Pallone said.