Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

November 28, 2010 14:05 ET

Government of Canada Comments on Results of Latest Meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 28, 2010) - The 2010 annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) officially closed on Saturday, November 27, in Paris, France. Delegates from 48 Contracting Parties, including Canada, worked through ten days of difficult and important negotiations to strengthen the conservation of Atlantic bluefin tuna and other species under the organization's responsibility. 

"I have said it many times before: ICCAT Members must not let up in their efforts to improve the management and conservation regime for Atlantic bluefin tuna, they must adhere to the scientific advice, and they must comply with the rules," said the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. "Canada is following this path, has one of the best managed Atlantic bluefin tuna fisheries in the world, and is now seeing the results."

The Minister expressed regret that a proposal by Canada to strengthen reporting measures for all commercial and recreational fisheries of Western Atlantic bluefin tuna did not receive the support of all Parties fishing in the Western Atlantic. These measures reflect what Canada has long done domestically.

ICCAT Members adopted the following total allowable catches for 2011, in line with the latest scientific advice:

  • A reduced total allowable catch of 1,750t for Western Atlantic bluefin tuna in 2011 (including a modest reduction in the Canadian access to this fishery of approximately 11t), a catch level at which the stock is expected to continue to increase;

  • A reduced total allowable catch of 12,900t for Eastern and Mediterranean Atlantic bluefin tuna (Canada does not fish this stock), [minus approximately 1,900t to be forfeited by Parties identified to have exceeded their 2010 quota]; and

  • A renewed total allowable catch of 13,700t for North Atlantic swordfish (the Canadian quota is 1,348t, plus transfers of 25t and 100t from the United States and Senegal respectively) and a continuation of the existing North Atlantic Swordfish rebuilding plan, which reflects ICCAT's successful rebuilding efforts for this stock. 

"This year's results reinforce Canada's determination to advance effective ICCAT management practices for key species such as bluefin tuna and swordfish," added Minister Shea. "Through sustained action, we have successfully re-built the North Atlantic swordfish stock and continue to strengthen its management every year, to the benefit of our industry. We expect the same level of commitment from all ICCAT Members for other important species, especially Atlantic bluefin tuna." 

For many years, the Canadian government and the fishing industry have made the difficult choices necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of our Atlantic bluefin tuna fishery. The most recent assessment of the Western Atlantic bluefin tuna stock by ICCAT scientists is encouraging to Canada and confirms the abundance of fish that Canadian fishers are reporting in Canadian waters. This positive development is a testament to a decade of setting the total allowable catch based on the scientific advice and to an ever-improving compliance regime in Canada. 

Canada will continue to strongly encourage its partners to advance effective conservation and management of all ICCAT-managed species, including western stocks. 

For more information about the Canadian bluefin tuna industry and Canada's work within ICCAT visit and


Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Frank Stanek
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Office of the Minister
    Nancy Bishay
    Director of Communications