For 2021 the workplan will address the three Principles:
1. Principle 1 Stock Management
2. Principle 2 Minimising Environmental Impact
3. Principle 3 Management System
Further details under each of the principles are given below:
1. P1 Stock Management:
Principle 1: Stock Management:
The MSC pre-assessment report stated that although the fishery performs well generally in relation to Principle 1 the Harvest Control Rule (HCR) needs further testing and development to ensure it is robust to uncertainty.
The process of testing the HCR’s robustness to uncertainty is one that is taking place at ICCAT level and as such is beyond the scope of the FIP to directly engage in. However the FIP will follow ICCAT’s ongoing HCR review and refinement process and ensure that actions taken within the Irish albacore fishery are in line with the HCR.
The FIP will follow ICCAT’s ongoing HCR review and refinement process and ensure that actions taken within the Irish albacore fishery are in line with the HCR.
2. P2 Environment:
The pre-assessment report raised the most significant issues under P2. These were mainly associated with availability of data on non-target, non-commercial and ETP species bycatches. Observer coverage has been low in recent years due to changes in fishing patterns and fish distribution which saw vessels landing into French and Spanish ports but not returning to Irish ports until the season ended.
In 2021 the FIP will continue recent work in improving industry provision of catch and bycatch data which can address gaps outlined in the MSC pre-assessment report.
In 2021 the FIP will identify where gaps in industry data provision can be filled. The FIP will develop an industry data provision program which will look at catches of non-target commercial species such as other tuna and swordfish, non-commercial species such as sunfish, and ETP species such as marine mammals.
The FIP will submit a data request to the Marine Institute to access all relevant data collected by observers in previous years.
All attempts will be made to ensure that observer coverage will be improved even in the case of vessels landing into French and Spanish ports.
FIP participant vessels will record ETP interactions in accordance with the ETP monitoring system developed for the other Irish FIPs.
3. P3 Governance and Policy:
The MSC pre-assessment report found that the management system for Albacore generally functions effectively and has clear and explicit long-term objectives consistent with sustainable fisheries. The only problematic issue identified under P3 was the lack of a fishery specific objective which address bycatches of non-commercially important species.
An objective to collect data on non-commercial species will be adopted in the Tuna FIP workplan.