Establishing a catch documentation programme for bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)

EESC opinion: Establishing a catch documentation programme for bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)

Key points

  • The EESC considers the adoption of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) recommendations to be important and appropriate because the EU has been a contracting party of ICCAT since 1986 and must ensure compliance with all the measures approved by ICCAT within EU law.
  • The EESC recommends that facilitating and ensuring access to information resources and technical assistance for fishermen and actors in the distribution chain for using the eBCD (electronic Bluefin tuna Catch Document) system must remain a priority for the European Commission and the Member States.
  • The EESC considers that all necessary efforts must be made to ensure compliance, accuracy and synergy between BCDs and eBCDs, as well as an efficient traceability, validation and verification process.
  • The EESC would like the Commission and the Member States to consider registration and validation of fish parts, even without the validation of caging, in order to maximize value and avoid waste. At present, when tuna die after arriving at the farm, they may not be sold because the caging has not yet been validated. Caging depends on an assessment made with stereoscopic cameras, which takes about two months, so these specimens must be frozen or destroyed. This goes against the Commission's initiatives on food losses and food waste.