Indian Ocean Tuna Commission
The Indian Ocean extends over 30% of the global ocean area, comprises of 9 large marine ecosystems and accounts for 30% of the global coral reef cover and is bordered by some of the world’s largest estuaries and 40,000 km2 of mangroves. Its amazing array of marine life supports some of the most important fisheries on Earth, accounting for over 14% of global wild-caught fish are located in Indian Ocean waters. Consequently, the Indian Ocean is especially important to the 36 littoral and 11 hinterland nations that surround it, contributing greatly to the food security of their citizens.
Significantly, the Indian Ocean is the world’s second largest tuna production area, accounting for nearly 20% of the world commercial tuna catch. The tunas, (bigeye, yellowfin and skipjack) which straddle both coastal waters and the international waters of the high seas, are caught by both industrial-type distant water fishing fleets and fishing vessels from the coastal states. Most of the fishers from the coastal states are artisanal. Unfortunately, the Scientific Committee of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission considers that the current situation of the stock and level of fishing in the Indian Ocean are not sustainable.
Marinas Guardian has become an observer to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission to help ensure that the Indian Ocean’s tuna fisheries are managed both sustainably and equitably. This is a key first step to securing a 100% sustainable Indian Ocean.