Spanish and French vessels fishing illegally in the Indian Ocean have been blacklisted after a key watchdog found them repeat offenders.
The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) says that the vessels were caught illegally fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zones of Somalia, Mauritius, India and Mozambique; without the appropriate permission of these countries.
An IOTC situation report released during the 26th session in the Seychelles states: “Fleets like these are causing irreversible damage to our oceans and threatening marine life and people, dependent on it around the world.
“This was recognized by nations at this week’s IOTC meeting, where several member countries called on the Commission to blacklist the fleet. They catch more yellowfin tuna than any other fishing gear in the Indian Ocean – with 97 percent of yellowfin tuna caught around dFADs in the Indian Ocean by purse seine vessels being juveniles,” the statement said.
Kenya’s and South Africa’s Die aggressively preying on drifting fish aggregation devices (dFADs), such as B. Trawler, contributed to the decision. Conservationists are increasingly opposed to the use of such fishing techniques as vessels catch more juvenile fish that could contribute to species extinction.
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IOTC, an intergovernmental organization charged with protecting highly migratory tuna and tuna-like fisheries resources in the Indian Ocean, has also promoted the use of appropriate fishing techniques. The commission did not specify the number of banned vessels, but suggested that anyone flying the two countries’ flags would no longer be allowed to fish in the zone.
The Indian Ocean is the second largest tuna fishing zone in the world.
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