Introducing a process to assess the contribution of purse seine fisheries to incidental catches of endangered, threatened and protected species in the area of competence of ICCAT
This document presents the work that a panel of scientists is conducting to attempt producing estimates of levels of key by-catch species by ICCAT fisheries. It follows up on previous work conducted in the Indian Ocean, which led to the publication of estimates of catch of endangered, threatened and protected species (ETP) by IOTC fisheries, including sharks, marine turtles and marine mammals. However, the paucity of the data that ICCAT fisheries produce on by-catch and the fact that ICCAT’s standards for the dissemination of observer data have been hampering attempts to use this information to produce estimates. The authors propose some actions that the ICCAT could contemplate to assist them in this work. They also recall that in 2016 the Commission requested the SCRS to evaluate the contribution of by-catches and discards to the overall catches in ICCAT tropical tuna fisheries. And stress the fact that the SCRS will not be able to respond to this request unless CPC Compliance with the existing provisions improves and ICCAT revises its requirements concerning observer coverage and data dissemination standards for by-catch stocks.