Sri Lanka has space to increase tuna catch: IOTC chief

Mar 21, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka can increase its catch but within the framework of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) in which competing interests will have to make trade-offs, the head of the regional fisheries body said. Rondolph Payet, chairman of IOTC, said a proposal by the Seychelles on tuna quotas at the last meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, had been an example for illustrative purposes only and not meant to determine Sri Lanka’s catch allocation.

The IOTC is meeting in Colombo right now to discuss sustainable exploitation of Indian Ocean tuna whose stocks are getting depleted as they have in the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Indian Ocean coastal states seeking to increase their own catches are competing for dwindling stocks with foreign fishing fleets of advanced countries whose industrial scale fishing is seen as being responsible for over-fishing.

Payet said the Colombo meeting of the IOTC would discuss the report of the Nairobi meeting and decide on the way forward to ensure sustainable management of tuna in the Indian Ocean.

“There’s scope for Sri Lanka to expand its catch within the limits of the stocks,” Payet told LBO in an interview on the sidelines of the IOTC meeting.

“There’s no at