Grenada’s Prohibition of Retaining Tuna and Tuna-like Species Lifted by ICCAT

PR – On 8th February 2023, the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Fisheries and Cooperatives received information that the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) issued a notification prohibiting Grenada from retaining Tuna and Tuna-like species in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 3 of the Recommendation by ICCAT on Penalties Applicable in Case of non-Fulfillment of Reporting Obligations (Recommendation 11-15).

ICCAT is an inter-governmental organization established in 1966. Its main purpose is the management and maintenance of populations of tuna and tuna-like fishes found in the Atlantic Ocean, at levels that will permit the maximum sustainable catch for food and other purposes.

As a Contracting Party to ICCAT since 2017, Grenada, like all Member States, is required to submit annual fisheries data to the organisation to aid in the scientific assessment and management of the pelagic fishery resources in the Atlantic region.

Since becoming a member of ICCAT in 2017, Grenada has submitted time series data from 2017 to 2021. Nonetheless, this data contained several gaps and shortcomings for which ICCAT Secretariat made several communications to Grenada to have rectified. Despite these attempts, there was no response, hence the imposition of the Recommendation to restrict Grenada from retaining (catching) these species that comes under the management of ICCAT.

Tuna and tuna-like species comprise 70% of the total fish catch for Grenada and account for85% of all fish exported. These species contribute significantly to foreign exchange earnings, employment generation, food and nutrition security, and the provision of sustainable livelihoods to the fisheries sector and the national economy.

Recognising the importance of this fishery to the fisheries sector and the economy, on receiving the ICCAT Notification, the Ministry took immediate measures to recompile and correct the data series and resubmitted same to the Secretariat on 9th February 2023.

As a result of this rapid action and response, the Ministry is pleased to report and inform the fishing community and the general public that an official communication was received from the ICCAT Secretariat on10th February 2023, notifying that due to Grenada’s satisfactory fulfillment of its recent Reporting Obligations, the prohibition has been officially lifted with immediate effect.

The Ministry wishes to further inform the fishing community that it will always work assiduously to maintain and protect the benefits derived from the fisheries sector for all its stakeholders.