Setting priorities in Atlantic bluefin tuna research

  • SOCIB and COB-IEO participate in a new meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).

From December 1 to 3, researchers from the Balearic Islands Coastal Observation and Prediction System (SOCIB) and the Balearic Oceanographic Center of the Instituto Español de Oceanografía (COB-IEO) have participated in the 3rd Intersessional Meeting of the ICCAT Bluefin Tuna Species Group, as members of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). As part of its objectives, this commission investigates Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) and focuses on preventing the end of this species due to phenomena such as overfishing.

SOCIB and COB-IEO have participated in this meeting within the framework of the PANDORA Project, supported by the research and innovation funding program of the European Union Horizon 2020. The objective of this project is to create new knowledge, through the compilation of the main industries, laboratory, and fieldwork, combined with theoretical simulations; new collaborative networks between industry, academia, and advisory bodies; and new mechanisms such as training courses and management tools to guarantee their applicability, usefulness, and impact.

During the ICCAT meeting, researchers have discussed issues such as the priorities of the Grand Bluefin Tuna Year Programme (GBYP), one of the main ICCAT scientific programs, that emerged in response to the species’ collapse in the early years of the 21st century. This programme, established in 2008 with 80% of its funding provided by the European Union, aims to improve the quality of the available data for the species, the knowledge of its biology and ecology, and the mathematical models used to evaluate the population status. In addition, this meeting has discussed the improvement of the advisory models and the 2021 agenda, among other topics.

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