There is also the impact of the Arab Spring, with Libya is demanding that its quota of 995 tons (903 metric tons) be increased since the civil war disrupted fishing last year. Algeria is also wants to increase its quota compensate for an ICCAT decision that shifted some of its quota to Libya several years ago.
Even if the current quota be endorsed at the ICCAT meeting, environmentalist and ICCAT’s scientist acknowledge more has to be done to ensure the survival of Bluefin. They are calling for increased efforts combating illegal fishing with greater enforcement, reducing the numbers of boats allowed to fish and improving the data collected especially from fish farms to ensure the science is stronger when the next assessment is done in 2015.
‘‘None of these measures really add up unless they are complied with and unless there is enforcement,’’ said Susan Lieberman, deputy director of international policy for Pew. ‘‘There is significant illegal fishing and overfishing above the quotas in the Atlantic Ocean in ICCAT. It is extremely important for the future of those fisheries, for the future of fishing communities and for those governments and fishing industries that illegal fishing be stopped and that there be efforts ensured that rules and regulations of ICCAT are good, but not only good, but complied with.’’
Associated Press writer Eric Talmadge in Tokyo contributed to this report.