The First Seychelles Tuna Conference was held in Victoria from 5-6 February 2010 bringing together nearly 200 scientists, fishers, environmentalists and policy makers. At the end of the conference participants agreed to, among other things, contribute to the conservation of the ecosystem and the sustainable use of tuna resources by supporting the timely adoption of effective conservation and management measures based on the best scientific advice.
The Declaration reads:
SEYCHELLES 1st TUNA CONFERENCE
VICTORIA, MAHÉ (SEYCHELLES)
5-6 FEBRUARY 2010
The governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), intergovernmental organizations, tuna processors, and fishing vessel owners, participants in the First Seychelles Tuna Conference, 5-6 February 2010, hereby:
Express their support for the commitments and objectives of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and for the conservation of the tuna resources and their ecosystem;
Reaffirm their full trust in, respect for, and expectations of the regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) for tunas, recognizing them as the bodies best suited for managing these resources;
Recognize the need to foster closer collaboration between the tuna industry, RMFOs, and NGOs, in order to develop new and innovative approaches to ensure sustainable management of tuna fisheries;
Agree to jointly and collectively take the following actions:
• Contribute to the conservation of the ecosystem and the sustainable use of tuna resources by supporting the timely adoption of effective conservation and management measures based on the best scientific advice;
• Support efforts to strengthen and modernize the IOTC, to ensure that the challenges it faces can be effectively addressed;
• Support the full participation of the developing coastal countries of the region in the IOTC, and promote engagement of these countries to meet their obligations under the IOTC;
• Support IOTC member states in developing long-term commitments to effective enforcement of, and compliance with, IOTC resolutions, including strengthening of the capacity of developing coastal states to effectively combat IUU fishing activities, which are still significant in the region;
• Encourage and support research to minimize bycatches in the tuna fisheries of the region, and reduce the potential negative effects of these fisheries on tuna resources and the pelagic ecosystem;
• Encourage IOTC member states to adopt the recommendations of the Commission’s Scientific Committee in its conservation and management measures;
• Further enhance and promote the timely exchange of data and information on landings and statistical documents so as to ensure compliance with IOTC resolutions;
• Encourage all IOTC member states to fully cooperate in the scientific work of the IOTC, by providing detailed statistical data on their fisheries, thus allowing timely estimates of the status of the tuna stocks;
• Encourage all coastal states harvesting tuna in the Indian Ocean to become full members of the IOTC;
• Consider the potential impacts of climate change on food security and fishery resources, and increase research activities to mitigate and manage such impacts.
• Request governments, RFMOs, producers, processors, traders, retailers, NGOs, international organizations and consumers to act in a responsible and unbiased manner, with the aim of promoting sustainable exploitation and trade.