Successful outcomes for Canada at International Commission for Conservation of Atlantic Tunas meeting

From: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Ottawa, Ontario – Canada is pleased with the outcomes reached at the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) meeting, which concluded on November 23. Canada entered the negotiations with a position that was based on the best available science, and aimed to conserve and regenerate fish stocks and the ecosystems on which they depend. As a result of the successful negotiations, Canada and other member nations are better positioned to regulate the fishing, conservation, and regeneration of a number of tuna, tuna-like, and shark species.

Specifically, members agreed to important measures to reduce mortality rates and restore North Atlantic shortfin mako shark populations. The measures adopted will ensure harvesters are not permitted to keep any sharks caught in association with ICCAT fisheries in 2022 and from 2023, harvesters will only be allowed to keep these sharks under strict conditions. Canada has banned the retention of shortfin mako sharks in its domestic fisheries since 2020. This agreement is a significant step in securing international cooperation in the protection and regeneration of the species.

ICCAT members also discussed management measures for Western Atlantic bluefin tuna. Despite some views calling for significantly higher catch allocations, Canada successfully advocated for only a moderate increase in total allowable catch, as supported by science. This moderate increase will prevent overfishing and promote the continued growth of the stock.

The Government of Canada, together with domestic and international partners, continues to provide a robust, science-based approach for managing our fisheries, so we can continue to regenerate, grow, and conserve Canadian and global fish populations for future generations.

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