The Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna Fishery: Back from the Brink?

Type/nr A06/21
Skrevet av Trond Bjørndal
At the turn of the century, the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna stock (BFT) appeared to be severely overexploited with some commentators believing it was heading towards collapse. In 2006, a 15-year recovery plan was introduced with the purpose of restoring the stock to a level corresponding to maximum sustainable yield (MSY) with a probability of at least 50%. Stock size is now increasing, which has permitted higher TACs in recent years. In fact, the stock is now believed to be sustainably harvested. This represents a total turnaround from the situation of less than 15 years ago. The fishery is managed by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO) in accordance with the 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement. BFT is classified as a highly migratory stock harvested by a large number of countries. Several authors have questioned the effectiveness of RFMOs. This paper analyses how cooperation has been achieved for BFT and whether the current cooperative management regime is stable, so as to see what lessons it holds for RFMO management, in particular when it comes to highly migratory stocks.

Språk Skrevet på engelsk