About Regulations

In the BMIS, a regulation is a binding or non-binding conservation or management measure adopted by one of the five tuna RFMOs. Regulations are included if they refer to or require the use of bycatch mitigation techniques. For links to all (bycatch and other) conservation and management measures for each RFMO, visit our RFMO pages.

ACTIVE’ decisions are displayed by default. Search results can be filtered to show ‘PARTIALLY ACTIVE’ (where a regulation has been approved but some or all of it is yet to come into force) or ‘SUPERSEDED’ decisions. You can display all regulations by selecting 'ANY'. Occasionally, regulations may be agreed and (i) supersede an existing measure and (ii) come into force at a future date. These are designated  'AGREED, NOT YET ACTIVE'.

The five tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) are as follows:

  • CCSBT - Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna
  • IATTC - Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission
  • ICCAT - International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas
  • IOTC - Indian Ocean Tuna Commission
  • WCPFC - Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Organisation

RFMOs are concerned with the conservation and sustainable use of the highly migratory fish stocks under their jurisdiction. However, they are also concerned with the protection of non-target species and the greater marine environment. RFMO fisheries management is guided by conservation and management measures which embody principles such as prescribed in the WCPFC Convention text (Part II, Article 5), i.e. to:

(e) ...”minimize...catch of non-target species, both fish and non-fish species”…[and]…“promote the development and use of selective, environmentally safe and cost-effective fishing gear and techniques" and

(f) "protect biodiversity in the marine environment". 

Existing and new regulations are reviewed at annual RFMO Commission meetings. They may come into force immediately, or at some prescribed time in the future, and may continue in force indefinitely, or apply to a specified period (such as a fishing season). Each RFMO uses a different code to identify their conservation and management measures, though they all include the year that the measure was approved.

ISSF regularly update a useful overview of the major mitigation and monitoring measures adopted by the various tuna RFMOs.