Tuna regional fisheries management organizations and the conservation of sea turtles: a reply to Godley et al.
Here, we outline actions taken by Tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organizations on the science of marine turtle’s conservation. The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (1949), the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (1966), the Indo-Pacific Tuna Program (prior to 1980) the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission(1993), and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (2004), supported by their respective Scientific Committees, cover all oceans and main seas (including most sea turtle ranges), are responsible for data collection, monitoring and management of tuna and tuna-like resources, including associated bycatch of sea turtles. The scientists working with these organizations provide annual information on turtle bycatch, promoting several recent initiatives, including impact assessments. These efforts to protect turtles and reduce their bycatch are illustrated by the Bycatch Mitigation Information System, launched by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and later expanded and supported by the FAO Common Oceans Tuna Project and the Bycatch Working Group meeting organized in December 2019 in Porto, Portugal, to rejuvenate the process of coordination between the organizations on bycatch issues.