MissionObjectivesThe overall objective of this Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) is to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the fish stocks covered by the Convention, in accordance with the relevant rules of international law. FunctionsThe main functions are to:
Since 1976, the IATTC has implemented a programme on tuna dolphin relationship and since 1992 it has developed an International Dolphin Conservation Programme (AIDCP) aiming at progressively reducing dolphin mortality in tuna fishing. The IATTC also serves as the Secretariat for the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Programme whose principal objective is to reduce and strictly regulate accidental dolphin mortality that occurs in the purse seine fisheries for tuna.
- promote, carry out and coordinate scientific research concerning the abundance, biology and biometry in the Convention Area of fish stocks covered by the Convention and, as necessary, of associated or dependent species, and the effects of natural factors and human activities on the populations of these stocks and species;
- adopt standards for collection, verification and timely exchange and reporting of data concerning the fisheries for fish stocks covered by the Convention;
- adopt measures that are based on the best scientific evidence available to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the fish stocks covered by the Convention and to maintain or restore the populations of harvested species at levels of abundance which can produce the maximum sustainable yield,inter alia, through the setting of the total allowable catch of such fish stocks as the IATTC may decide and/or the total allowable level of fishing capacity and/or level of fishing effort for the Convention Area as a whole;
- determine whether, according to the best scientific information available, a specific fish stock covered by the Convention is fully fished or overfished and, on this basis, whether an increase in fishing capacity and/or the level of fishing effort would threaten the conservation of that stock;
- adopt, as necessary, conservation and management measures and recommendations for species belonging to the same ecosystem and that are affected by fishing for, or dependent on or associated with, the fish stocks covered by the Convention, with a view to maintaining or restoring populations of such species above levels at which their reproduction may become seriously threatened;
- adopt appropriate measures to avoid, reduce and minimize waste, discards, catch by lost or discarded gear, catch of non-target species (both fish and non-fish species) and impacts on associated or dependent species, in particular endangered species;
- adopt appropriate measures to prevent or eliminate overfishing and excess fishing capacity and to ensure that levels of fishing effort do not exceed those commensurate with the sustainable use of the fish stocks covered by the Convention;
- establish a comprehensive programme for data collection and monitoring, which shall include such elements as the IATTC determines necessary. Each member of the IATTC may also maintain its own programme consistent with guidelines adopted by the IATTC;
- promote, to the extent practicable, the development and use of selective, environmentally safe and cost-effective fishing gear and techniques and such other related activities, including activities connected with,inter alia, transfer of technology and training;
- where necessary, develop criteria for, and make decisions relating to, the allocation of total allowable catch, or total allowable fishing capacity, including carrying capacity, or the level of fishing effort, taking into account all relevant factors;
- apply the precautionary approach;
- promote the application of any relevant provision of the Code of Conduct and of other relevant international instruments including,inter alia, the International Plans of Action adopted by FAO in the framework of the Code of Conduct.
States that have ratified or acceded to the Agreement are Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, European Union, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, United States of America, Vanuatu, and Venezuela (Bolivaraian Republic of). States that are applying the Agreement provisionally are Bolivia (Plurinational State of), and Colombia. Area of competence
Eastern Pacific Ocean.
IATTC area of competence - High seas
The designations employed and the presentation of material in the map(s) are for illustration only and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal or constitutional status of any country, territory or sea area, or concerning the delimitation of frontiers or boundaries.
Species and stocks coverageFish stocks covered by the Convention means stocks of tunas and tuna-like species and other species of fish taken by vessels fishing for tunas and tuna-like species in the Convention Area. Legal frameworkCreated by the Convention for the Establishment of an Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission signed by the Governments of the United States of America and Costa Rica in Washington on 31 May 1949, it entered into force on 3 March 1950. http://www.iattc.org/PDFFiles/IATTC_convention_1949.pdf
In 2003, the Convention for the Strengthening of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission Established by the 1949 Convention was opened to signature. As of 1 January 2009, ten governments had ratified the Antigua Convention and deposited their instruments of ratification with the Depositary Government, which is the United States of America. http://www.iattc.org/IATTCdocumentationENG.htm LanguagesEnglish, Spanish. Organizations involved
Member: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Republic of Korea, Spain, United States of America, Vanuatu, Boliv Rep of Venezuela.
Cooperating non-parties or cooperating fishing entities. : Belize, Canada, China, Cook Islands, Estonia, Kiribati, Taiwan Province of China. StructurePrincipal bodyThe Commission is composed of national sections, each consisting of from one to four members, appointed by the governments of the respective high contracting parties. The Commission meets at least once each year. The Commission is responsible for pursuing the objectives of the Convention. Advisory committeesEach high contracting party is entitled to establish an advisory committee for its section, to be composed of persons who are well informed concerning tuna fishery problems of common concern. Each such advisory committee is invited to attend the non-executive sessions of the Commission. Permanent working group on complianceThe Working Group on Compliance is composed of representatives of each of the parties of the IATTC. Its functions are:
With the entry into force of the Antigua Convention, two new Committees will be created: the Committee for the Review of Implementation of Measures Adopted by the Commission and the Scientific Advisory Committee. Committee for the Review of Implementation of Measures Adopted by the CommissionThe Committee for the Review of Implementation of Measures Adopted by the Commission shall be composed of those representatives designated for this purpose by each member of the Commission, who may be accompanied by such experts and advisers as that member may deem advisable. The functions of the Committee shall be the following:
- to identify non-parties with vessels fishing in the region, and to identify the individual vessels of non-parties;
- to review and monitor compliance by non-parties with the conservation and management measures of both the IATTC and the AIDCP;
- to propose the requirements for non-parties to obtain the status of cooperating non-party, entity or fishing entity;
- to examine any information provided by the parties and the reports of the Secretariat of the AIDCP and the administration of the IATTC on vessels of non-parties, entities or fishing entities fishing in the region;
- to review and monitor the compliance of a non-party and determine whether it has fulfilled the requirements to obtain the status of cooperating non-party, entity or fishing entity;
- to propose criteria for and develop a list of vessels identified as being engaged in IUU fishing activities in the region.
Scientific Advisory CommitteeThe Scientific Advisory Committee shall be composed of a representative designated by each member of the Commission, who shall have appropriate qualifications or relevant experience in the area of competence of the Committee, and who may be accompanied by such experts or advisers as that member may deem advisable. It is important to mention that currently there is a Committee Scientific Advisory which make scientific recommendations to the Commission, but it is conformed by members invited by the Director. The functions of the Scientific Advisory Committee created by the Antigua Convention shall be the following:
- review and monitor compliance with conservation and management measures adopted by the Commission, as well as cooperative measures referred to in Article XVIII, paragraph 9, of this Convention;
- analyze information by flag or, when information by flag would not cover the relevant case, by vessel, and any other information necessary to carry out its functions;
- provide the Commission with information, technical advice and recommendations relating to the implementation of, and compliance with, conservation and management measures;
- recommend to the Commission means of promoting compatibility among the fisheries management measures of the members of the Commission;
- recommend to the Commission means to promote the effective implementation of Article XVIII, paragraph 10, of the Convention, regarding the instrumentation of activities to deter vessels from activities which undermines undermine the effectiveness of the conservation and management measures adopted by the Commission.
- in consultation with the Scientific Advisory Committee, recommend to the Commission the priorities and objectives of the program for data collection and monitoring
- perform such other functions as the Commission may direct.
Activities and meetingsSchedules and information on past and coming IATTC and AIDCP meetings are available on the IATTC Web site.
- review the plans, proposals and research programs of the Commission, and provide to the Commission such advice as may be appropriate;
- review any relevant assessments, analyses, research or work, as well as recommendations prepared for the Commission by its scientific staff prior to consideration of such recommendations by the Commission, and to provide additional information, advice and comments, as warranted, to the Commission on these matters;
- recommend to the Commission specific issues and items to be addressed by the scientific staff as part of its future work;
- in consultation with the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of Measures Adopted by the Commission, recommend to the Commission the priorities and objectives of the program for data collection and monitoring established in Article VII, subparagraph (i) of paragraph 1, of this Convention and assess and evaluate the results of that program;
- assist the Commission and the Director in locating sources of funding to conduct the research to be undertaken under this Convention;
- develop and promote cooperation between and among the members of the Commission through their research institutions, with the purpose of expanding the knowledge and understanding of the fish stocks covered by this Convention;
- promote and facilitate, as appropriate, the cooperation of the Commission with other national and international public or private organizations with similar objectives;
- consider any matter referred to it by the Commission;
- perform such other functions and tasks as may be requested or assigned to it by the Commission.
Information on IATTC and IDCP activities is also available on the IATTC Web site: Publications The IATTC produces a number of annual reports and publications. The publications mainly comprise: annual reports, quarterly and special reports, fishery status reports, bulletins, data reports, books.
These publications are available on the IATTC Web site.