Dr Tammy Trott Attends ICCAT Meeting

November 24, 2011

Last week Senior Marine Resources Officer for the Department of Environmental Protection, Dr. Tammy Trott, led the United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOT) delegation at the meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).

The meeting took place from November 11th to November 19th and was held in Istanbul, Turkey.

As Acting Head of the delegation, Dr. Trott was given the responsibility to negotiate and speak on behalf of all of the UK Overseas Territories that are members in ICCAT. In addition to Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands and St. Helena are also members.

Dr. Trott led negotiations for the UKOTs on northern swordfish and blue marlin and was also able to bring attention to their position on yellowfin tuna, which is an important species for Bermuda and St. Helena.

In addition, Dr. Trott spoke on the mitigation measures proposed for seabird by-catch as Dr. Cleo Small of the UKOT delegation had been working on this proposal with the European Union, Brazil, Uruguay and South Africa.

Dr. Trott also supported a proposal to protect porbeagle sharks and was able to highlight the importance of the Sargasso Sea as a birthing area for porbeagle and bring attention to the Bermuda led Sargasso Sea Alliance. The seabird by-catch mitigation measures were ultimately adopted by the Commission.

The Minister of Environment, Planning and Infrastructure Strategy Marc Bean said: “Having a delegate at the meeting this year and being more active in bringing proposals to the floor undoubtedly raised the profile of Bermuda and the UKOTs at ICCAT. Additionally, I am pleased to learn that Bermuda was able to retain their quota for swordfish this year, despite an initial proposal for a quota reduction, and that the lucrative sports fishery for blue marlin was not affected.”

Measures coming out of this year’s meeting included setting a 110,000 tonne Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the Atlantic-wide yellowfin tuna fishery and the adoption of a proposal whereby countries that do not submit data for a particular species will not be able to fish for that species in the following year.

Dr. Trott said: “It is important for the public to realize that the tuna and similar species that come through Bermuda’s waters travel to other parts of the Atlantic Ocean and thus fishing for these species needs to be managed on a regional basis. Although Bermuda does not catch much relative to larger countries, we must still do our part in the conservation of these species by sending data on the number and size of fish that we catch to ICCAT and ensuring that we do not take more than we need.”

Dr. Trott added: “ICCAT meetings are very important in managing the harvest of tuna, billfish and shark species, which are top predators in our ocean. Depletion of these species could alter the ocean ecosystem, perhaps in negative ways, so it is important that they are sustainably managed.

“A number of the species managed by ICCAT are currently assessed as being overfished and/or experiencing overfishing. However, there are often large uncertainties in the assessments due to the lack of data. The “no data, no fish” measure adopted this year by ICCAT will hopefully mean that the ICCAT scientists will get the information that they need to properly assess the tuna stocks so that they can give accurate management advice to the Commission to sustain these stocks.”

Category: All, Environment

Comments (5)

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  1. All Clogged Up says:

    Tammy is sharp….. u go gurl!

    • All Clogged Up says:

      forgot to add….pretty smart for a Crawl Hill gurl !!!!!

  2. Cinderella says:

    It’s So Good to see our Brainiacs represent Bermuda well. Perhaps she could be a consultant to a few other countries, and bring in their big bucks! Congratulations Dr. Trott, I know your family must be proud of you.

  3. wondering says:

    Dr Trott – proud of you!!