28 April 2014
BIM recently welcomed delegates from Spain, France, USA, Morocco, Japan and Canada to their offices in Dun Laoghaire for a working group meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas or ICCAT. Chaired by Dr Craig Browne of the National Fisheries Marine Service in the USA, the group discussed methods for assessing fish stocks including Atlantic albacore.
Pictured at Dun Laoghaire harbour for the ICCAT meeting in BIM’s offices with Michael Keatinge, BIM Fisheries Development Director (centre) are delegates representing over 6 countries.
The importance of this meeting to the Irish catching sector comes at a time when our fleet will once again rely on our large catch of albacore tuna in August and September. With a quota of 2,700 tonnes, the pelagic trawl albacore fishery is currently the 10th most valuable quota species and is worth approximately €6 million at first point of sale. As well as compiling biological data on an annual basis, BIM have has conducted extensive scientific research on albacore, contributing towards management of the species in support of ICCAT’s objectives. BIM recently published the first study in the world on tracking albacore behaviour using satellite tagging techniques as well as new research on methods for improving catch rate data used in stock assessment. As part of this process, important research networks have been established with major institutes such as AZTI who hosted the most recent albacore stock assessment session in the Basque Country in Spain.