yellowfin tunaIndonesia believes the method used to calculate what yellowfin tuna catch it is entitled to is outdated. Photo: Quentin Bates

Indonesia said it objected to a recent tuna stocks rebuilding plan because catch calculations were wrong and the plan would threaten economic stability and fishery livelihoods.

The country’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries has issued a statement on its recent objection to the adoption of an interim plan for rebuilding the Indian Ocean Yellowfin Tuna Stock at the IOTC Area of Competence.

“In principle, at the 25th session of the IOTC, Indonesia supported the need for the adoption of a revised interim stock build plan to ensure the rebuilding of overfished yellowfin tuna within required timeframes,” explained the Ministry.

“Indonesia did, however, not agree with the catch that had been allocated to them under this proposal and it is for this reason that Indonesia decided to object to the measure which was eventually adopted as Resolution 21/01.”

What is Indonesia disputing?

Under the adopted measure, Indonesia would receive an allocation of 22,242t for 2022, this being calculated in accordance with paragraph 5a of Resolution 21/01 as a 12% reduction in catch compared to the 2014 catch, explained the Ministry.

Indonesia would have been in full agreement with the 12% reduction if it had had been applied to catch figures as reported to the IOTC Secretariat by the Ministry.

In 2014, Indonesia reported a yellowfin tuna catch of 45,122t on the prescribed 1-RC forms in accordance with IOTC requirements. If a reduction of 12% was applied to this catch figure, it would have meant an allocation of 39,707t in 2022.

The dispute arises from the fact that a re-estimation had been made by the IOTC Secretariat based upon a joint study of the Indonesian fishery in 2012 which looked at sampled catch composition data by fleet from 2003 to 2011. Indonesia was in agreement with the findings, but now believes that significant improvements have been made in data capture in recent years.

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