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2023 Annual Meetings of the IATTC and AIDCP
Press release

17 Aug 2023

The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) held its first presential meeting after the COVID 19 pandemic in Victoria, B.C., Canada, where it was generously hosted by that country. The Commission and its members repeatedly expressed their gratitude to Canada, whose hospitality contributed to the success of the meetings, including through the quality of the facilities provided and the logistical support. This 101st Annual Meeting was preceded, as usual, by meetings of the Commission's subsidiary bodies, the Committee on Administration and Finance, the Compliance Committee and the Permanent Working Group on Capacity of the Fleet, which adopted and presented multiple recommendations which were considered and adopted by the Commission in its plenary. 

It should be noted that, at the initiative of its Chair, Mr. Luis Molledo (European Union), the Compliance Committee adopted a new format for its task of reviewing the performance of Members and Cooperating Non-Members, which greatly contributed to improving the efficiency of this work. Overall, the trend towards better compliance with the measures adopted by the Commission was confirmed, as was the improved response of members and Cooperating Non-Members to cases of possible non-compliance.


Immediately prior to the start of these meetings, the 46th Meeting of the Parties to the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program (AIDCP), whose Secretariat is provided by the IATTC, as well as the meetings of the subsidiary bodies of the AIDCP, including the International Review Panel (IRP), had been held. All the participants were able to note and highlight the progress made in the implementation of the Agreement, as reflected, among other things, by the constant decrease in the possible infractions observed and the maintenance of the incidental mortality of dolphins at a figure below the adopted limits and close to statistical zero.

The 101st Meeting of the Commission ended successfully, with the adoption by consensus of an unprecedented number of binding resolutions. These 12 resolutions cover a wide range of issues, without anticipating or prejudging next year's negotiations on conservation and management measures for the new three-year cycle 2025-2027.

First, issues related to specific targeted species in the Antigua Convention area:  bluefin tuna and Northern albacore (with an additional decision concerning southern albacore that will be recorded in the text of the minutes of the meeting).  

Second, measures on associated species: sharks and Dorado (mahi-mahi). Regarding sharks, an important step was taken with the consolidation of the previously adopted resolutions on these species, and the revision and updating of the measures on silky sharks. 

Third, the strengthening of several previously adopted provisions of great relevance and importance for the resources covered by the Antigua Convention: on fish-aggregating devices ("FADs"), with new rules regarding non-entangling FADs, biodegradable FADs and FAD recovery; on vessel monitoring systems ("VMS"), and on harvest control rules. 

Fourth, the Commission adopted for the first time a resolution on climate change, thus formalizing its commitment to this issue on which its scientific staff was already working actively.

It is also worth mentioning that the Commission recognized the particular importance of the ongoing work on the development and evaluation of harvest strategies with the reclassification of the position of the Secretariat staff member responsible for this matter from temporary to permanent.

As the meeting concluded, the Commission expressed its appreciation to its outgoing Chair, Dr. Alfonso Miranda Eyzaguirre from Peru, for his outstanding performance during the difficult years of the COVID 19 pandemic as well as during the current meeting. It emphasized the recognition 
that Dr. Miranda particularly deserved for its contribution in facilitating and stimulating the progress made and the agreements reached. It elected Mr. Andres Arens (Ecuador) as the new Chair, and Mr. Julio Guevara (Nicaragua) as Vice-Chair. In addition to electing the co-chairs of the new working group on electronic monitoring, he decided to re-elect all the chairs and co-chairs of the other committees and working groups. 

Finally, the Commission decided that its 102nd meeting would be held between the last days of August and the first days of September 2024. It gladly accepted Panama's generous invitation to host this meeting, which will be of particular importance since its main objective will be the adoption of conservation and management measures for the new three-year cycle 2025-2027.