New Conservation Measures for Atlantic Marlin
At its recent annual meeting held in November, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) adopted measures aimed at rebuilding blue and white marlin stocks. A rebuilding plan put into place in 2013 has been largely unsuccessful, as both blue and white marlin stocks continue- to be overfished and blue marlin continue to be experiencing overfishing. New measures recently put in place to aid the rebuilding of both stocks includes:
At its recent annual meeting the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) adopted measures aimed at rebuilding blue and white marlin stocks.
- Reducing the blue marlin annual limit from 2,000 tons to 1,670 tons and reducing the white marlin annual limit from 400 tons to 355 tons. However, this provision will not apply to small-scale subsistence fisheries that rely on marlin for local consumption.
- Requiring, to the extent possible, the release of blue and white marlin caught on longline and purse seine gear that are alive at haul-back in a manner that maximizes post-release survival and establishing minimum standards for live release procedures.
- Requiring the reportings of live and dead marlin discard estimates. Starting in 2020, nations that fail to report discard data will be prohibited from harvesting marlin.
- ICCAT’s Standing Committee on Research and Statistics (SCRS) will work with ICCAT participating nations to study methods to improve the post-release survival of marlin caught on longlines.
- In 2022, ICCAT will review any new scientific advice from the SCRS and consider the adoption of additional conservation and management measures.
- The next blue marlin assessment will take place in 2024 and the subsequent next white marlin assessment will take place in 2025.