WWF has welcomed the adoption of key conservation measures for oceanic white-tip sharks, whale sharks and cetaceans following the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) annual meeting in Mauritius.
IOTC member states agreed on important measures for the management of tuna fisheries and other vulnerable species such as White-tip sharks, which are not to be retained and need to be released unharmed if possible, while purse seiners can no longer set around whale sharks and cetaceans.
One very positive outcome was the adoption of a proposal by the Maldives with regard to interim target and reference points, and a framework for management decisions to be taken in response to changes in stock status.
“This is an important step towards the implementation of full harvest control rules and paves the way for the development of management tools essential for a sustainable fishery,” says Dr Wetjens Dimmlich, Indian Ocean Tuna Coordinator for WWF’s Smart Fishing Initiative. WWF welcomes the increasing involvement of Indian Ocean coastal developing states in conservation proposals, demonstrating an awareness of the need to responsibly manage tuna fisheries in the region.