Fisheries governance watchdog Accountability.Fish today released previously secret deliberations from an international fisheries decision-making body, publishing its first-ever RFMO Tracker detailing the outcomes of the recent IATTC (Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission) meeting in Victoria, Canada.
Key decisions included a watering down of key proposals due to the interventions of China, Chinese Taipei, and Japan, and rejection of an EU initiative by the US, Japan, and Mexico.
“While the results of the meeting itself were unremarkable, our movement to generate more clarity and accountability is gathering steam, thanks to the actions of those observers who shared their knowledge of IATTC’s deliberations with us,” said Ryan Orgera, Global Director of Accountability.Fish.
The results of the meeting – and the names of the countries who blocked or withdrew proposals – can be found at https://accountability.fish/
Noting that while there is no legal requirement for observers or participants at international fisheries meetings to keep their deliberations secret, there have long been unwritten “rules” that have discouraged them from doing so.
Orgera said: “Industrial fishing interests and their allies in the international fisheries space have long encouraged secrecy and opacity – to make it easier for them to maintain their one-sided advantages in the key decision-making processes. Thanks to the courage of observers in Victoria, we have broken this secrecy for the first time,” Orgera said.
“Publishing the results of the IATTC meeting is an important step towards driving a more holistic approach to ocean governance. The decisions being taken by IATTC and other regional fisheries management organizations have far-reaching implications not only for industrial fishers, but also for regional economies and the global environmental picture.”
“Citizens, conservationists, and market players have a right to know which countries are blocking progress or encouraging bad behavior, and to adjust their own commercial and political decisions accordingly. Accountability.
Fish is committed to making this right a reality.”
Accountability.Fish is a global coalition committed to increasing openness and accountability in international fisheries decision making. It is funded by the Oceans Five Foundation.